05 May 2021

Paulo Fonseca backs Jose Mourinho to succeed at Roma

05 May 2021

Jose Mourinho has been backed to do a “great job” at Roma by departing head coach Paulo Fonseca, who is looking to oversee a remarkable Europa League comeback against Manchester United.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are on the cusp of this month’s Gdansk showpiece having secured a 6-2 win in last week’s semi-final first leg at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils are overriding favourites to progress past Roma, who sent ripples around the footballing world on Tuesday by announcing that Fonseca will be replaced by ex-United boss Mourinho next season.

“For me, professionalism is something I believe is very important,” the outgoing Giallorossi boss said on Wednesday.

“I am OK, I am focused on things here just like I was the very first day I got here.

“I am motivated. I want to do the best I can for Roma for as long as I am still here.

“Mourinho is a great coach, everyone knows that, and I am sure he will do a great job here.”

Mourinho had only been out of work for 15 days after being sacked by Tottenham and Fonseca dismissed talk of his impending arrival being a distraction.

It is, though, unusual preparation for the Thursday’s Europa League semi-final second leg against one of Mourinho’s former clubs.

“Clearly it is not easy to beat Manchester United by four goals – but I have seen a lot of things happen in football,” Fonseca said.

“Nothing is impossible. I believe that anything can happen.

“I’m expecting a tough game. Going up against Manchester United is always very difficult.

“They have a good first-leg advantage but we want to win the game. We want to fight until the very end.”

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