Maurizio Sarri did not blame his players after Lazio suffered Europa League elimination following their loss to Feyenoord.
The Biancocelesti fell 1-0 to their Dutch opponents at De Kuip last night, leaving them third in Group F. The Roman side have now been relegated to the Europa Conference League, a disappointing drop considering their domestic strengths this season.
Speaking in a press conference (via La Lazio Siamo Noi), Sarri first discussed his Lazio squad’s performance in the loss to Feyenoord.
They played a tough game, five minutes of difficulty you have to expect. They built five goals and conceded very little to the opponents. I saw a good team, ready to play football, to fight. We didn’t have the attitude of the last half-hour with Salernitana.
We compromised the Europa League with one game, the rest is part of normality. A tournament that is played in six games… a challenge in which you not only lose but also compromise things in terms of goal difference is clear that it puts you in an enormous difficulty.
He touched on where the squad go from here.
Nobody knows. This is a match in which the boys are not to blame, they did what they had to do. I see no reason for discouragement. In the dressing room I saw anger at certain attitudes on the pitch, discouragement no.
The Lazio coach commented on the behaviour of the Feyenoord fans and the physicality on the pitch.
It was raining bags of p*iss from the stand behind the bench! Some annoyance of course there is. Let’s not even talk about the refereeing decisions.
One player allowed 7-8 fouls from behind, in the end our players were booked. In the goal action there are two fouls, the action starts in front of my bench and there is a foul on Cancellieri.
Then Patric who was clearly pushed. Go and see it again. All the fouls were made by the opponents, but we were booked every time.
Sarri spoke about if Ciro Immobile can join the squad for the upcoming Derby della Capitale.
I have absolutely no idea, it’s in the hands of the doctors. I’ll go to Formello and we’ll have some more ideas. We’ll train when we get back, we’ll be together all day on Saturday. Both morning and afternoon, two mini-training sessions to prepare for the derby.
He gave his thoughts on the Europa Conference League and why Lazio struggle competing on two different fronts.
Snubbing the Conference League is stupid, it’s still a European competition. In a few rounds you’ll see if it’s good, but I wouldn’t doubt that. My feeling is that we are not ready to play two top-level competitions. For structure and mental strength.
Organic? There are categories and displacements in the brain as well. With habit, some players assimilate this ability, but it’s not easy.
Sometimes it’s really a question of mental cylinder capacity. In terms of personnel, it’s obvious that we’re missing something, but I think this is quite normal.
Finally, Sarri discussed if he held any bitterness following Lazio’s work in the Europa League.
We wasted clear chances, we missed three or four. We also conceded little in terms of chances. It goes back to Ciro’s speech, if they happened to him we would probably have finished the first half 3-1.
We can’t always say that we should have been more evil. If evilness was enough, I would have won the Champions League. Instead I played in Serie D. The strange thing is that it also happened to very technical players.