Saturday February 15 2020
Fonseca: 'Difficult for Roma, but possible'

Paulo Fonseca maintains Roma limited Atalanta as much as possible in their 2-1 defeat, but haven’t lost hope of fourth place. “It’s difficult, but possible.”

The Giallorossi had taken the lead just before half-time through Edin Dzeko, but were turned around by Jose Luis Palomino on a corner and Mario Pasalic, who had been on the field for 19 seconds.

“At this moment, the important thing is to work on the minds of the players,” Fonseca told DAZN.

“It’s not easy to play here, Atalanta always create many scoring opportunities and we allowed them very few, in the circumstances.

“We played well on a strategic level in defence, so I cannot say anything negative about the attitude of the team. We played well defensively on the whole, it’s just conceding those two goals, we had a moment of difficulty.”

This result opens up a six-point gap between Roma and the Champions League places, but it is technically seven points, as Atalanta now have the superior head-to-head record, winning 2-0 at the Olimpico and 2-1 in Bergamo.

“There are still 14 games to go. It’s difficult, but possible, as this season Serie A is very balanced and I believe we can get back into it.

“We are physically in good shape and ran harder today than in previous matches, but right now we seem to concede at the first opportunity.

“I think we conceded three goals from corners over the last couple of games. We can do far better on those set play situations, I am confident we’ll soon get back to winning ways from next week and turn the tide.”

With Bryan Cristante suspended and Amadou Diawara injured, Fonseca moved defender Gianluca Mancini into a midfield role, almost a 4-1-4-1 formation.

“Atalanta are a very difficult side to play against. We were without Cristante and Diawara, so the only real option was Mancini in midfield. We can play with this system again in future, certainly, it depends on the situation and the opponent.

“It was important that the team remain tight defensively and not get stretched out. We did it well almost all the time, but were perhaps too concerned with the through balls and it was tough with Atalanta’s pressing.”

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