Sarri: ‘Lazio Passive & Vulnerable, Sassuolo Tough at Home’

Maurizio Sarri was exasperated with Lazio’s recent mental drops and underlined the difficulty of facing Sassuolo away.

The Biancocelesti have dropped points from winning positions in both of their two games in 2023, losing to Lecce after taking a 1-0 lead and allowing Empoli to snatch a point after going 2-0 up. Sarri is desperate to see his team bounce back as they look to stay involved in the fight for a top four finish.

Speaking in a press conference (via La Lazio Siamo Noi), Sarri first discussed his goals for Lazio in their clash with Sassuolo.

Partials leave time to be found. Lazio have shown they can play a good game, we need to put that right, the objective is clearly to stay inside the game mentally for 100 minutes.

He gave his thoughts on his Sassuolo counterpart Alessio Dionisi.

Good coach, interesting, definitely one of the up-and-coming guys. He did well at Empoli, even last year. The school definitely led by De Zerbi, he’s coming up, I think Palladino will also come up next.

The Biancocelesti coach touched on the qualities of the Neroverdi and the work of his side in training.

Sassuolo at home, in a way that is difficult to explain, have been getting important results for years, especially against important teams. Even this year the numbers are the same.

It is an exploitation of the home factor that is difficult to explain considering the environmental context that is Sassuolo.

So, it will be a difficult match. Lazio have trained very well, they’ve lost some enthusiasm. But to put that right we have to go for the result.

It’s hard to understand the blackouts when you think about the way they train during the week. They work very well during the week, I just noticed them a bit saddened at the moment.

Sarri analysed the work of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic recently and if he’s been disappointing. The Serbian star only has 18 months left on his Lazio deal and is the subject of much transfer market noise.

He already gave a good performance in the last game. He went from losing 25 balls to losing 10 and having a higher percentage of progressive play. He already had a good game against Empoli.

Like everyone else in the World Cup, he had difficulties in restarting, this applies to Milinkovic-Savic and also to Vecino. In fact, perhaps the latter is having a little more difficulty getting out of this situation.

Luis Alberto and Milinkovic together? Playing with two inside players with offensive characteristics is complicated, but if they do it with the application of the last game I think it can be done.

He spoke about the team’s mental drops in recent outings.

If you go into mental passivity, thinking about being aggressive and nasty is difficult. It’s a consequence. We by our characteristics are not a particularly bad team. There are moments in the match when we play with good defensive intensity.

More a bad management of certain moments of the match, not so much badness understood as aggressiveness. You concede a casual 2-1, when the referee calls the four-minute injury time, you mustn’t play anymore.

The 63-year-old Italian coach weighed in on the Scudetto race this season.

I’m thinking about putting things right, not so much about the Scudetto fight. If Napoli continue to play like this, I see them difficult to catch. But in football I’ve seen everything.

Sarri commented on the fight for a Champions League spot.

I’m a bit p*ssed off with these stories. We’re fifth and it seems to be a drama. Lazio’s history over the last ten years doesn’t seem like a lot of Champions League work.

If we reach it, it’s a miraculous season. Then, we’re not that far away, so let’s go ahead and try to get back in the fight.

He did not want to talk about the transfer market.

In my country the market is on Tuesday morning, we talk about it on Monday evening. We are out of time. We’re preparing a match after one point in three games, I can’t talk about the market.

Finally, Sarri discussed where this Lazio squad still need to improve.

Certain details that we pay for in some games. In the Lecce game we had a good first half and a second half as a switched-off team. I don’t even consider that a detail. You can’t draw a game like the one against Sampdoria or like the one against Empoli.

Taking care of these little things is important. The team has reached a point where, when activated, they have the ability to play good football. They’re short, compact. When we didn’t concede goals, I knew it would end.

Our protection numbers in the area were not very high. Now we are conceding goals and the numbers are much higher, so this moment will also end.

Tags Biancocelesti Italy Lazio Lazio vs Sassuolo Maurizio Sarri Rome Sarri Sassuolo Sassuolo vs Lazio Serie A