Maurizio Sarri was honest about Lazio’s defeat to Torino and highlighted what needs to be done in the clash with Simone Inzaghi’s Inter.
The Biancocelesti looked off the mark in their last outing, stumbling to a 1-0 loss to the Granata, but the defeat hasn’t upset their top four chances, with the team still sitting second and comfortably in the Champions League spots.
If Lazio drop points to Inter and Napoli beat Salernitana, Luciano Spalletti’s side would mathematically clinch the Serie A title. Regardless, Sarri’s side will be fully focused as they prepare for a game worth more than just three points in the race for a Champions League.
Speaking in a press conference (via TMW), Sarri first discussed what was learnt from the loss to Torino.
We are in the decisive phase of the season, lessons are of little use. A setback is heavy. With Torino we weren’t at our best physically, I said that straight away, but also mentally.
If this is a normal small down after a good period we will react immediately, if instead the drop is due to the fact that we thought we had already reached the goal it is a problem.
Tomorrow, we face a team that are extraordinary in individual matches. We must forget the first meeting, which we won but also suffered. We must play as a collective and not as individuals.
The Italian coach provided an update on the health of his players.
We’ve worked a lot on unloading, the team should benefit from that. But it’s hard to separate the physical aspect from the mental one.
Last week’s workload, combined with the change in temperature, we paid for it against Torino, I didn’t say that to protect the team, I mean it.
He spoke about talismanic striker Ciro Immobile, who is still recovering after a car crash.
From a mental point of view, he is calm, physically he is growing. He has no major pains in training. He’s a player we’re counting on a lot.
Sarri was asked about the expectation that Napoli may clinch the Serie A title this weekend.
We have to think about our game. The table has been set for the party, for our defeat. We must do our best. Napoli will celebrate anyway, but hopefully as late as possible.
He commented on the seven-point lead over Inter at this stage of the season.
In our league there are four teams stronger than us, then we play for it. We did something more than expected, the others something less.
We must not think about the table. Inter have regained confidence and enthusiasm, they are strong. Then there are also risks that concern us.
He spoke about the fact that the team haven’t lost two games in a row more than once in Serie A this season.
I hope that this trend continues, that it shows this capacity to react. It depends on what we thought before Torino.
If we feel we are playing something we took for granted, it is a very complicated path. We have to stay inside the game with great conviction, which is clearly different from being cocky.
Finally, Sarri discussed Lazio’s busy week ahead and the future of Italian football.
You have to give everything in every game, who jumps jumps, who bursts bursts. Then there are things I will never agree on. In Italy the forecast for tomorrow is that it will rain, but it could also be 33 degrees, how the f*ck can you play at 12.30?
There are all the conditions not to make a good show, then you get angry because you collect less than in other leagues. If we don’t sit down with the government to rebuild the stadiums, we’re dead. Italian football can return to good levels, but the feeling is that they will sink us again..
We are in a historical moment that also allows for an ascent, but with a different path. I’m lucky to be of an age… others will see the future. I say this because I am in love with football, I see a possible glimmer to return to good levels, but there is a set of laces that will make us sink further.