Coach Paulo Fonseca has claimed Roma’s season is far from over and said it’s still too early to bring Nicolò Zaniolo back against Udinese on Thursday.
The Giallorossi currently trail fourth-placed Atalanta by nine points after a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Milan on Sunday, but Fonseca won’t give up on a place in the Champions League.
“It’s not the right time to think about the future, it’s not the time to start counting. We must think about one game at a time, and anyone who thinks our season is over is wrong,” Fonseca said at a press conference.
“We continue with the same ambitions.Tomorrow is the most important game for us, then it will be Napoli. We are here with confidence and the ambition to win.”
Roma host Udinese at the Olimpico and the Portuguese coach has admitted the team will still have to cope without Zaniolo and explained why Cengiz Under doesn’t start.
“I think the team will play tomorrow like we played the first game [against Udinese], I’m confident the team will play well.
“[For Under] it’s a matter of strategies, options and conditions. We need all the players who can play. It’s still too early to play Zaniolo.”
“I don’t know if [Henrikh] Mkhitaryan will play, we shouldn’t forget that in two days we must face Napoli.”
Fonseca has claimed the slow games are normal after the long break and confirmed that Pau Lopez will not be ready to play against the Friuli.
“When you don’t win, you can talk about everything. What I have seen in almost every game, is that the matches don’t have the same intensity as during the season. It’s perfectly normal.
“It’s important to feel good physically now. [Pau Lopez] has been training with us, but he’s not ready for tomorrow. [Antonio] Mirante will play and he has played two good games.”