Maurizio Sarri revealed that he’s not been smoking in the days leading up to the Derby della Capitale against Roma, prepared for the tense affair.
The derby is always an exciting game in the Serie A schedule and this year is no different, with both teams bitterly fighting to secure a European qualification spot. The Biancocelesti currently sit one point ahead of the Giallorossi in 5th, so the result of today’s derby could have important ramifications come the end of the season.
Speaking in a press conference (via LazioNews24) yesterday, Sarri first discussed the tension ahead of the derby.
The derby is the derby. There’s no retrospect, it’s a game in itself and should be taken as a single event. We play for the derby.
I don’t feel any rivalry. Tomorrow Lazio play against Roma, we must not think we are more important than the teams we coach. I have a good relationship with him.
Sarri commented on the mindsets of the two squads heading into the derby.
Every game has its own story and for the derby it’s worth three times as much. The game will be difficult, we are two teams of a good level that have had some ups and downs.
There will be two teams who will come in with maximum motivation.
He responded to Mourinho’s suggestions that the Lazio players were smoking with Sarri in training with Roma were working hard in the Europa Conference League.
I stopped smoking for several days, then it may be that I start again but these days I’m not smoking.
By experiencing the environment you have more awareness of what match you are going to face. It’s a special game that our people care about in a special way and so it weighs on your shoulders.
He commented on the fact that president Claudio Lotito visited the squad at Formello in the run-up to the match.
The president hasn’t spoken to the team, I saw him yesterday for a few minutes. He leaves us very calm, he intervenes very little, he intervenes when he thinks it’s appropriate.
Finally, Sarri discussed defender Francesco Acerbi, who has not had an easy season this campaign.
I find it hard to understand the controversy against Acerbi. A gesture cannot undermine the consideration of an exemplary guy.
He is giving everyone both in training and in the game, I hope the fans understand this and can help him.