Simone Inzaghi is glad “people are talking about Lazio again” after the Supercoppa win over Juventus, but Keita Balde Diao and Wesley Hoedt are an issue.
Lazio-Spal kicks off on Sunday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT), click here for a match preview.
The season has technically already started for the Aquile, beating Juventus 3-2 last weekend to win the Italian Super Cup.
“Many sides have invested and strengthened, so it’ll be a real battle this term,” said the Coach in his Press conference.
“We are up there and after the Super Cup victory, people started talking about Lazio again. I am confident and relaxed. I feel within me that Lazio deserve better than 10th place.
“The win was historic and fully deserved. Nobody would’ve bet on us, but I believed in Lazio. It was a victory of the group and we beat one of the strongest sides in Europe.”
Keita was dropped for that game and has now declared war on Lazio directors, refusing all moves other than Juventus.
“I think too much has already been said. I had honestly trusted him, as nobody more than me really protected and relied on him as I did. Over the last week, I did not see the right attitude and so I left him out. Everyone is important, but nobody is indispensable. If Keita leaves, he will be immediately replaced.”
Lazio begin their Serie A campaign against Spal, who surprisingly won the Serie B title last year.
“We must show great maturity. I spoke to the lads and the last six weeks have been really positive. Luis Alberto can be a playmaker, a midfielder or a support striker. He is a great tactical resource.
“Hoedt will train with us today. He asked to leave, as he wants to play regularly. It is only thanks to Lazio that he earned a place in his national team, but it’s his decision. We’ll see what happens. If he is sold, we’ll have to get a replacement.
“I think this summer various players all over Europe have shown a lack of respect towards teammates and Coaches. You can decide to leave, but you should behave like a man and never abandon training.”