Roma director Gianluca Petrachi reveals when their season changed and “would’ve loved to work with a coach like Paulo Fonseca in my career.”
The Giallorossi are currently fourth in Serie A and have booked their spot in the Europa League Round of 32, despite suffering from an injury crisis for most of the season.
“After the draw with Sampdoria, we had a long confrontation between all of us, squad, coach and directors. At that moment, our group was fortified and the lads started to give the responses we were looking for,” Petrachi told Roma TV.
“I’ll be honest, before that we were a bit wishy-washy, still trying to find our new identity, so we needed the ambition to do more. After Sampdoria, the players began to show who they really were.”
Coach Fonseca also changed the tactics from 4-3-3 to a 4-2-3-1 formation and has already won over the Roma fans.
“This coach has really won me over. His philosophy of football is perfectly in sync with mine. When I told the players about Paulo, I assured I’d have loved to work with a coach like that during my career.
“Fonseca helps you play football for enjoyment. He wants possession, to recover the ball immediately and dominate the opposition. He inevitably drills that courage into you. It means a lot for a player to absorb those ideas and go out there to work on our own game, not just trying to neutralise the other team. You can see in their eyes the effect he’s had on them.”
Portuguese tactician Fonseca arrived in Italy after several years in Ukraine with Shakhtar Donetsk, but has settled in immediately.
“I was surprised by the way he dealt with pressure,” continued director of sport Petrachi.
“We had several injuries all happening at the same time, so it’d cause anyone problems. I read interviews with representatives from other clubs who were missing one or two players and they acted as if it was the end of the world. Roma were without seven first choice players simultaneously.
“Paulo adapted so well, as shown by the way he transformed Gianluca Mancini into a very effective midfielder. It wasn’t easy, but Fonseca continued to give the squad a sense of courage, even in an emergency situation. If you feel sorry for yourself or complain about bad luck, you take strength away from the team.”
Petrachi shot down reports Nikola Kalinic will cut his loan spell short in January, but Bruno Peres has returned to base.
“I want to be clear, we are happy with Kalinic, he is finding his feet again and we can see that day after day in training. As far as we are concerned, he is not on the market.
“I know Bruno Peres well, as I was the one who signed him at Torino. He can play, he just needs to rediscover that hunger and humility that perhaps recently he had lost. We’ll give him another chance, but he knows that at the next mistake, he’s off.”
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