Maurizio Sarri wants Lazio to avoid a drop in focus following their weekend win over Napoli, keen to see a good performance against AZ Alkmaar.
The Biancocelesti pulled off the impossible in the Campania capital, edging out a 1-0 win over the league leaders thanks to Matias Vecino’s lashed strike from 25 yards out in the second half.
Lazio will now be hoping to carry this momentum forward to their Europa Conference League Round of 16 first leg against AZ Alkmaar, one of the more exciting ties of the round. The Eredivisie side sit third in the league table, just five points behind league leaders Feyenoord.
Speaking in a press conference (via TMW), Sarri first spoke about why Lazio’s win over Napoli could be dangerous for the squad.
The victory in Naples is dangerous for us. After the 4-0 win against Milan, we went into a motivational slump and didn’t win for four games. Let’s see if we can handle this result differently.
The defensive contribution of the whole team is superior to before, the growth is of the whole team not of individual defenders.
The Italian coach spoke about the condition of star striker Ciro Immobile, who has recently been sidelined with a muscle injury.
I don’t know much, I spoke to the doctor on the phone. There’s a muscle problem, it’s not serious, afterwards we’ll talk about the recovery time.
Since last year, when he hurt his ankle, he’s never been well. Even on Friday he played with painkillers for the ankle problem, which I think is causing him discomfort.
He was asked about Jose Mourinho’s suggestion that the Conference League was more difficult this season.
It’s his personal opinion which I respect but I don’t share.
Sarri spoke about the upcoming opponents AZ Alkmaar.
They are playing a very high-level league. If you draw Ajax, you think they are a worthy opponent, while AZ you think not and you tend to underestimate them, but they are only one point behind in the league.
They have quality points from a technical point of view, tomorrow there will be mental but also technical problems.
Sarri highlighted the Biancocelesti’s reliance on Felipe Anderson and lack of alternatives.
Right now, he can’t be tired, we have no other options.
The coach was asked about Jose Mourinho’s two game suspension, which was paused, and if he was disappointed not to receive the same last season.
In that episode, there were two different reports between the referee and the federal prosecutor’s office that were two metres apart. So, one of the two reports was untrue.
The treatment of Mourinho? A career suspension.
The Lazio coach also provided an update on defender Nicolo Casale.
He has had medical tests, it seems they are negative. He has a big bruise on his kneecap, but the knee is solid and today from training it will be clear if he can play or not.
He was asked about rotations he might make against AZ.
Tomorrow will be the 15th game in 61 days. We knew the World Cup would be a tragedy. Let’s see how many will be able to play tomorrow.
Schedules can blow up in your face with suspensions and injuries. The difference with the Netherlands is not so much, I think they are equivalent to ours.
Finally, Sarri spoke about the high level of Dutch football.
They have teams with good technique, good wingers. The only thing I don’t like about Dutch football is the Feyenoord fans.