Paulo Fonseca practically admits his Roma exit is sealed and not just because of the 6-2 loss to Manchester United. ‘We missed key players in the decisive period of the season.’
The trip to Sampdoria kicks off on Sunday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT), click here for a match preview.
“We were almost always in third or fourth place up until the start of March, then we started to struggle. It’s clear to me why: we missed key players in the decisive period of the season. With so many games in that time, it was decisive,” said Fonseca in his press conference.
His fate already seemed to be sealed even before the 6-2 defeat to Manchester United in the Europa League semi-final, with Maurizio Sarri expected to take over.
Fonseca was asked what advice he would give to the club.
“I am the coach. I am focused only on the games that remain from here to the rest of the season. I don’t need to give the club advice.
“I am a professional. I love football. I always want to be professional. I am motivated to the end of the season, I am not thinking beyond that. I think everyone here should be professional and defend Roma with the same motivation.”
Pau Lopez, Jordan Veretout and Leonardo Spinazzola all limped off within the opening 37 minutes at Old Trafford.
“Something clearly went wrong, but Veretout had trained well and played against Cagliari, so the signs were positive. Spinazzola too had no issues before that. If you don’t have positive signs, you don’t take risks in a game like that.
“We had prepared a strategy that worked in the first half against Manchester United, so changing it at half-time wouldn’t have made sense. Then we all saw what happened, but I think before that we’d said that we wanted to continue playing.”
Considering the injury to Pau Lopez and the fact Roma’s season is essentially already over, Fonseca confirmed he could use third choice goalkeeper Daniel Fuzato.
“It is a possibility, yes. Sampdoria are a strong team, very physical and intense. It’ll certainly be a difficult match.”