Fonseca: ‘Roma couldn’t react’

Paulo Fonseca concedes Roma ‘didn’t have the energy to react’ in their 2-0 loss to Sampdoria and tries to explain their injury crisis.

The Giallorossi looked physically and emotionally drained from the start after their 6-2 Europa League semi-final defeat to Manchester United.

They did have the chance to get one back, but Edin Dzeko’s penalty was saved by Emil Audero, after Adrien Silva and Jakub Jankto goals.

“It is a difficult moment, but I think we had a good first half after the defeat in Manchester. The lads tried hard, then as the half was coming to an end, we conceded that goal that is becoming something of a habit for our team.

“We didn’t have the energy to react after the break, but it was a good first half,” the coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“The loss in Manchester made its mark on us and it is difficult to get past it.”

Roma are now only two points clear of Sassuolo and risk losing seventh place too.

“Up until March, we were challenging in both Serie A and the Europa League. I don’t think we gave up on Serie A, it’s just that we came here missing 10 players. We’ve had injury issues since March and there are players who are difficult to replace.

“That was also a time when we had a lot of games in a short space of time, so missing big players made the difference.”

Almost all the Roma injuries are muscular, so what is causing this?

“I don’t think it’s a training issue. We have a lot of players who don’t have time to prepare and work their way back from injury. In Manchester, we had no option but to risk them.”

Fonseca was asked if Roma with the squad at his disposal should’ve done better this season.

“I remember at the start of the season there was a prediction on Sky and they said Roma would finish seventh. I do believe we could’ve done better, but we missed Zaniolo all season and for much of it Chris Smalling was out too. I think we could’ve done more with them.”

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