Sunday July 5 2020
Fonseca: 'Roma keep three-man defence'

Paulo Fonseca confirms the three-man defence is the plan going forward for Roma after their 2-1 defeat to Napoli. ‘I saw improvements and we have to find stability.’

This was their third consecutive loss, in which the Giallorossi scored one goal and conceded six, allowing Napoli to catch them in fifth place.

“After the last two defeats, I think we did many things better, with a team spirit, more quality, working as a team and compared to the last two games, definitely there were positives.

“It’s true that we didn’t win, but I am far more confident now than after the Udinese game, for example,” the coach told Sky Sport Italia.

Fonseca was asked if the constant turmoil behind the scenes, with the failed takeover and director of sport Gianluca Petrachi’s suspension, had affected the team.

“I don’t like alibis or excuses. We didn’t do what we should’ve done in the previous two matches, we did better tonight. I am the first who has to keep my balance right now, as we’ve got eight rounds left and the Europa League, so we must keep working.

“We cannot forget that we played only two days ago down to 10 men. My intention is not to make many changes after this, as we can create more stability to get the best out of these players.”

Does that mean the three-man defence is the plan going forward for the rest of this season?

“We’ve been working with three at the back for some time and I thought this was the right match to play like that. There are many Serie A sides who are doing well with three-man defences and I don’t see that as a sign of being more defensive.

“It wasn’t just because we were against Napoli, but at this moment it’s important to create more defensive solidity and this system can do that both this evening and in future.

“We played at times with five in defence today, but our attacking process didn’t really change at all. We still had preventative marking with four. This system is just difficult in my view for a high press, but we have to find stability right now, that’s what I want.
“We have leaders in the dressing room like Dzeko, Pellegrini, Kolarov and Perotti. That’s not a problem. After these two defeats, we talked and we want to get back to being the team we saw put in so many good performances.

“I saw the team much more united tonight and the defeat was certainly not down to the attitude or team spirit, we were up against a very strong side who scored a great winning goal.”

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