Fonseca: ‘Never said Roma couldn’t challenge’

Paulo Fonseca calms suggestions he was critical of Roma and their transfer strategy, but knows it’ll be ‘tough’ against a courageous Benevento.

It kicks off on Sunday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT), click here for a match preview.

The coach was initially asked about his recent interview with Portuguese paper Record, in which he complained the club still didn’t have a director of sport and hadn’t brought in the reinforcements required.

“The club is seeking a director of sport, because we need one. It is very important for all teams to have that figure and it’s important for us too,” said Fonseca in his press conference.

“I never said we couldn’t challenge with this squad, if anything I said the opposite, which is we want to do better than last season and fight for a place in the Champions League.

“I also said that I wanted Alessandro Florenzi to stay, as he can be more useful in our current system, but he decided to play for PSG and I understand that option.

“There is no problem with Edin Dzeko, he is training well and is highly-motivated.”

Lorenzo Pellegrini impressed for Italy on international duty, finding the net against the Netherlands in a more advanced role than he usually plays at Roma.

“Pellegrini can play in various different positions and he had the same role as for Italy when we took on Verona last month. There are no doubts that he is very important for our squad and in our current system can have a few positions.

“At the moment, it’s difficult to start a game with two strikers, but it can happen during the match. We’re working on a system right now and will keep going.”

Tomorrow’s opponents are Benevento, who shattered Serie B records last term under coach Pippo Inzaghi.

“They are a courageous side, have confidence and a fine coach. They’ve won two games and lost a real battle with Inter, so it’s going to be tough.”

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