Fonseca: ‘Roma showed more courage’

Paulo Fonseca saw positive progress from every area of the Roma squad in today’s 4-0 win over Lecce. “The players showed more courage.”

The Giallorossi had one point from their previous four Serie A rounds, but broke the drought in style with a 4-0 thrashing of Lecce at the Olimpico.

It was their first league home win of 2020, sealed by Cengiz Under, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Edin Dzeko and Aleksandar Kolarov.

“The team trained very well over the last few days, so I was confident going into this game. Lecce had won three in a row, but our first 20-30 minutes were excellent,” the coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“We kept it going, the players had more courage and that’s important at this moment in time.”

They had also won on Thursday evening in the first leg of the Europa League Round of 32, beating KAA Gent 1-0.

“The moves start from the back and the defenders are very important for that, but I think everyone had a good game today. Jordan Veretout and Bryan Cristante worked really hard for the team and they made a big impact.

“Henrikh Mkhitaryan brings a great deal of creativity, he times his passes really well, makes good decisions and we missed him during his injury lay-off too. Keeping two consecutive clean sheets is very important and we did above all well with our preventative marking, which is why we didn’t concede. Lecce are an attacking team and go forward with several players, so I do like their style of football.

“The signs are positive for Amadou Diawara, but we need to evaluate very carefully when he’ll be able to come back.”

Lorenzo Pellegrini was substituted by Justin Kluivert during the half-time break.

“He had a good game, but during half-time we talked and he had muscular pain in both legs, so we decided not to risk it.”

Fonseca was also asked how he deals with the media criticism that has hit Roma in recent weeks.

“The coach is ultimately the one to blame when things don’t go well, so I was hardly expecting flowers during this period. I accept criticism, it’s not a problem.”

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