Fonseca focuses on Man Utd tie after dropping more Serie A points

Roma lost yet more ground in Serie A with a 3-2 defeat to Cagliari on Sunday.

With the focus already turning to Thursday’s Europa League clash with Manchester United, Roma were not up to speed and conceded early on. Carles Perez, one of the few bright sparks, levelled things up before the break – but what followed in the second half was extremely disappointing.

Roma only had themselves to blame as they went two goals behind. Federico Fazio reduced the deficit with a header but it never looked like Paulo Fonseca’s side would go on to get an equaliser.

The importance of Thursday’s game has only heightened now and even if Roma can get a result in England, it seems Fonseca’s days as head coach are numbered.

Nonetheless, he and the team still have tasks to focus on and things to analyse from the recent downturn in form in the league. Here are five quotes from Fonseca’s post-match reaction in Sardinia.

On attitude

“I don’t think we had the wrong attitude. We didn’t fight for the result against Torino, but that was not the case here. We conceded an early goal after an error, we reacted with intensity, got the equaliser and were always trying to create chances by getting closer to their penalty area.”

On Chris Smalling’s return

“He did very well. It was important to get Chris at least 45 minutes of playing time, he had more than that, and I think it was positive. Now he has the chance to play against Manchester United.”

On whether Smalling or Bryan Cristante will start on Thursday

“We will see. It is possible we will use them both.”

On his future

“I have always been focused entirely on my work. This semi-final with Manchester United is very important and I must stay entirely focused on a game that is too important for us.”

On the approach in Manchester

“It’s true that Manchester United are very dangerous on the counter attack, but we must realise it’ll be really difficult if we go to Manchester and just defend. We need to keep the ball and make it difficult for them.”

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