Fonseca: ‘Roma suffered too much’

Paulo Fonseca was pleased with Nikola Kalinic and Gonzalo Villar performances in the 4-3 win over Cagliari, but Roma “didn’t need to suffer so much.”

Joao Pedro had put the Sardinians in front, but Nikola Kalinic turned it around with a brace, assisted Justin Kluivert and Aleksandar Kolarov scored with a direct free kick.

The Giallorossi thought it was over, but a couple of late goals set up a tense finale for the 4-3 result.

Kalinic was given a rare start to rest Edin Dzeko and delivered with his first goals in the Roma jersey.

“We changed five players from Thursday’s game with Gent, as some were tired, Dzeko more than others. I decided to play with Kalinic, he was training well, and all the others had a good game too,” Fonseca told Sky Sport Italia.

“I don’t think we need to suffer quite so much, as we created many chances and had opportunities to kill the game off earlier. If we didn’t win here after that, it would’ve felt really unjust.

“I didn’t see many other opportunities for Cagliari to score a goal other than the ones they converted.”

With Kalinic finally finding form, Fonseca was asked how he’d fit the other talents together when they recover.

“Having many players in good shape is a positive problem for a coach to have, certainly better than the alternative! Gonzalo Villar made his first start, let’s not forget he was in the Spanish second division, so he showed a lot of courage.

“Bruno Peres has to improve defensively, but he is very good at getting out of the first pressure and going forward. He must react faster when we lose possession and he’s not the only one, we did that too many times today.”

Roma maintained the gap with Atalanta, who earned a 7-2 victory away to Lecce this afternoon.

“Atalanta are extraordinarily strong in attack, it has to be said. They’ve been strong since the start of the season, really, and we must fight it out to stay in the battle with Atalanta for fourth place to the very end.”

The Giallorossi are also in the Europa League Round of 16 against Sevilla.

“We just have to take it one game at a time and see what happens. Sevilla are very experienced at this level and won the Europa League several times in recent years.”

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