Fonseca: ‘Roma tired, but confident’

Roma coach Paulo Fonseca confirmed Edin Dzeko will be rested in favour of Nikola Kalinic against Cagliari. “The team is tired, but confident.”

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“We don’t have time to recover from a difficult Europa League match played away from home,” said Fonseca in his press conference after Thursday’s 1-1 result in Belgium to eliminate KAA Gent.

“Jordan Veretout is tired, as is normal, and has a slight foot problem. Diego Perotti is still very weak after his stomach bug and it’s unlikely he will be able to play.

“I can tell you that Kalinic will play tomorrow, as Dzeko needs rest. Javier Pastore is trying to recover from a chronic condition, so he has improved a lot in the last week, but we’ll see in future.

“We trained well, the team looks motivated and confident, but tired. We want to keep a high tempo in every match, but it’s important to control the game better, because we must stop losing the ball cheaply and then being forced to run after it.

“I don’t want the lack of recovery time to become an alibi. You asked me and I replied, we have not had time to recover after Gent. I don’t know how much that influences the team, but in my view you need at least 72 hours between games.”

Despite falling behind to Atalanta, Fonseca remains adamant Roma are in the running for fourth place.

“I am an optimistic and positive person. We have a chance, I don’t think Atalanta will have full points from here to the end of the season. We have to do better than we did in the first half of the season.

“I see the team believes and I believe in them. We must keep working to get back into the top four.”

There are only five Serie A games going ahead this weekend, as five have been postponed to May 13 after initially being scheduled to play behind closed doors, including Juventus-Inter.

“The authorities are trying to make the best decisions in a difficult moment. I trust them to do what is necessary for public health. Having said that, if there is an issue of ensuring fairness in sport, in my view they should either play them all or not play any.”

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