Maurizio Sarri was wary of the threats Spezia pose ahead of Lazio’s trip to Liguria, wanting his team to be fully focused.
The Biancocelesti have looked strong in the latter half of the second and deservedly sit second in the Serie A table, five points clear of third place Roma. With nine games left to play, the finish line is in sight in the top four race, putting the pressure on Sarri’s squad each match.
Lazio flew to a 4-0 win over Spezia in their first meeting in Rome this season and they’ll need to repeat that as they work to take one step closer to Champions League qualification.
Speaking in a press conference (via TMW), Sarri first discussed the dangers of Spezia.
The ability to reset and stay with high motivation in the face of any result is part of sport. Tomorrow will be difficult, on the Spezia pitch it’s not easy. They have lost once in their last six games and the last one at home they beat Inter.
There will be many risks tomorrow. Spezia is an aggressive team and on that pitch, which is smaller and with the spectators close by, the intensity is greater. If you’re not at 100% it becomes complicated.
He provided an update on star striker Ciro Immobile.
He seems to be growing. He’s been training continuously for a fortnight, but he’s not 100%. Let’s see tomorrow how much he can give us.
The Italian coach was asked if he’s discussed the future with the club’s management.
We are focused on the league. It’s one of the decisive moments of the season, I don’t think it’s the case to waste energy.
Sarri spoke about the condition of midfielder Matias Vecino.
He has a knee problem, it’s been bothering him for days. Yesterday it was worse, and he stopped. He’ll have three or four days of treatment, then we’ll see if we can recover him.
He touched on what Danilo Cataldi is still missing to become a top player.
A pinch of capacity. He spends a lot of energy and struggles in the final stretches of the match. However, I prefer a player who gives everything than one who manages himself.
He is specialising in the role, which involves about fifty games there to be able to evolve. It is a role for specialists, whoever says otherwise is rubbish.
The 63-year-old commented on the future of Pedro.
I think he seems very convinced to stay with Lazio.
He reflected on the Biancocelesti’s failure to impress in Europe this season.
It means we didn’t deserve to stay in European competitions. We went out in the Europa League and the Conference League, to think that we are at Champions League level is out of place.
The league opens up prospects for us, but we have to think only of Spezia. The theory is battle upon battle, whoever thinks about Saturday is out of his mind.
Finally, Sarri looked back at Lazio’s 2-1 win over Juventus and the impact of the referee.
The last straw is that we left with the feeling of having been penalised. The goal conceded was irregular, Rabiot while catching the ball hit Provedel.
An opposing player should have taken three or four cautions, the foul on Zaccagni then let’s talk about that, the beginning of the impact is on the penalty area line.
It’s Rocchi’s problem, they become too easy an excuse. Tomorrow there’s Irrati, he is a good referee.