Fonseca: ‘Roma won’t defend with Shakhtar’

Paulo Fonseca assures Roma will ‘not come to clam up in defence’ against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Europa League. ‘I know their quality and character.’

The first leg ended 3-0 for the Giallorossi and the decider is on Thursday at 17.55 GMT.

This is a return home for Fonseca – literally – because he still has a house in Kiev after being manager of Shakhtar Donetsk and marrying a local.

“I am friends with (current Shakhtar coach Luis) Castro, but tomorrow for 90 minutes we will be adversaries,” said Fonseca in his press conference.

“We want to win here too. We cannot say that we’ve got many options left in defence or attack, but the important thing is to defend well as a team and create goal-scoring opportunities.

“If we score a goal here, it’ll become even more difficult for Shakhtar. We certainly haven’t come here to clam up in defence. We had a good first leg result, but we know Shakhtar’s quality and the character of their players. They want to fight to turn this result around.

“I had great moments here, winning league titles and trophies. The happiest was when we won the Treble of the league title, the Cup and the Supercup, but really there are too many moments to name.

“It is a return home, I still have a house here, my wife and my son are Ukrainian and I have a very strong bond with Ukraine.

“As you know, Katerina is a Shakhtar supporter. She was very happy when I arrived home yesterday. We always follow Shakhtar’s progress and support them, but she was happy for me when Roma won the first leg.”