Roma were held to a goalless draw by CSKA Sofia in their second match of the Europa League group stage on Thursday.
Paulo Fonseca rotated his troops once again, bringing in Chris Smalling for his first appearance since re-joining the club. There were also starts for fringe players like Pau Lopez, Federico Fazio and Borja Mayoral.
However, the changes generally struggled to reach the same levels of Fonseca’s favoured players, and the game lacked quality overall.
Nonetheless, Roma preserved their unbeaten record in October.
Here’s how Fonseca analysed the game afterwards.
On a lack of rhythm up front
“I think we played without enough attacking intensity. We got into the final third of the pitch a lot but we made the wrong pass a lot, and we moved the ball around too slowly and without enough incision.”
On whether Smalling could play in the next game
“Smalling has only trained with us a few days, he can’t play every game right now – but we’ll see how they all are after tonight and then we’ll decide whether or not to call upon him against Fiorentina.”
On Mayoral’s performance
“It was just his second game; he’s young, he needs to adapt to the way we play. He worked hard but he still needs some time to adjust.”
On Roma’s need for a sporting director
“I think the board and the president are very close to the team. It’s important to have a sporting director and the club are working hard to find the best solution for that.”
On the drop in performance levels due to rotation
“That’s normal, these players don’t have the same rhythm right now as some of the others. It’s to be expected that these players don’t have the same consistency just now.”