Fonseca: ‘Roma played without intensity’

Paulo Fonseca admits Roma ‘played slowly and without the right intensity’ in their Europa League stalemate with CSKA Sofia.

It was a disappointing performance and result, as once again the lack of strength in depth was all too evident, but this time even introducing the big guns failed to shake things up.

“I think we played without intensity in attack. We got there so many times and made the wrong final pass, but we did it all slowly and without the right intensity,” the coach told Sky Sport Italia.

This was the first start of the season for Chris Smalling and Borja Mayoral.

“Smalling hasn’t been training for long and it wasn’t possible for him to play the whole match. We’ll see if he plays on Sunday or not, but I decided not to risk him playing for longer this evening.

“This is Borja Mayoral’s second game, he is young and needs to adapt to our football. He is working, but has to be given the time to adapt.

“I think we’ve been playing well recently and scored many goals. If we want to compare with how we started last season, the team is in much better shape now.

“It’s true that we rotated the squad today and didn’t play with the intensity I wanted, but the season so far has been fine.”

The Giallorossi looked very different to the side that three times came back to hold Milan 3-3 in Serie A on Monday.

“We’ll see. The truth is that at this moment, we have no choice but to rotate. We have Amadou Diawara, Riccardo Calafiori and now Davide Santon out, so the options are limited.

“It’s true that our performance in Serie A was different, but that’s normal and I take responsibility for the squad rotation. It is necessary.

“I have faith in what the team is doing, above all in Serie A.”

Fonseca has said many times he is frustrated at the lack of a director of sport at Roma, a figure that has still not been found.

“I feel the President is close to the team, but as I said, every club needs a director of sport who can fill that role.”

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