Paulo Fonseca thinks Roma can still reach top four

Paulo Fonseca denied that Roma are out of the running for a Champions League place despite going a third Serie A game without a win.

Roma’s chances of a top-four finish took a major hit as they drew 2-2 with Sassuolo upon their return from the international break.

Despite taking the lead twice – via Lorenzo Pellegrini and Bruno Peres – Roma were pegged back both times. Now, they find themselves five points behind the top four, having played one game more than many of their opponents.

Fonseca has his work cut out to get Roma back in contention, but insisted there is still time to turn things around. Here are five of his key post-match comments.

On whether the hopes of a top four finish are over

“No. Now we need to turn our attention to the Europa League, but we will keep on fighting in the league.”

On why Roma are conceding so often

“I have to say that, as far as Sassuolo’s second goal is concerned, they deserved it. But it is clear that we can’t afford to concede goals like this, especially in games we are winning.”

On the tactical aspects of the performance

“Looking at it in terms of tactics, we did okay. We played with a 4-4-2. It was an open game, with chances for both sides. We did not get off to the best of starts, but after that it was an even game.”

On whether his lineup choices were with Thursday’s game against Ajax in mind

“I chose the best side for this game. We have a lot of different issues, but I wasn’t thinking about Ajax.”

On his discussion with the referee after the game

“I told the referee that he had a good game. It’s hard for us to accept what happened in injury time [when the referee blew the final whistle before Roma could take an attacking free-kick]. But overall the referee had a good game.”

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