Vladimir Petkovic faces Parma, concedes there’s “nothing normal” about Lazio’s end of season collapse and the chaos surrounding the Coppa Italia Final with Roma.
The Biancocelesti have gone from campaign surprises to sudden flops, as they crashed out of the Europa League and have lost five of their last seven Serie A games. This makes Sunday’s trip to Parma particularly worrying. Click here for a match preview.
“The most serious illness we are suffering from is the lack of results, but my players have a strong character and will prove they are ready,” said the Coach in his Press conference.
“A lack of self-esteem can be an individual issue, but not a collective one. I hope never again to see what happened in the second half against Udinese.
“There are many things we are missing right now, including decisive moments to be more confident and consistent during a game. We need more conviction, to give more on our travels than we do at home so there isn’t such a big difference. We must have faith in these lads and this solid group.”
Having said that, Petkovic is prepared to wield the axe after a run of five consecutive away defeats that risks cutting them out of Europe.
“I will certainly change some things compared to the defeat in Udine. If I think back to that second half attitude, I say players need to give their all for this jersey and be pro-active. At times I made mistakes, but when you get it wrong you have to look forward and try to improve day by day.
“Everyone has something that can be improved, but I above all reproach myself for not getting the points we deserved and wanted.
“Parma play good football, even if they too are going through a negative period in which they are struggling to get the results they deserve. We will find a Parma side that is in the moment and angry.”
Petkovic noted Hernanes is not 100 per cent fit, while Abdoullay Konko returns from injury and Miroslav Klose should start.
“Klose is aware he can and must give more. The important thing now is for everyone to remain positive and have faith.”
Lazio’s best chance of reaching the Europa League is probably the Coppa Italia, but the Final against city rivals Roma is still up in the air. The May 26 date has not been finalised amid security concerns, as even Beijing offered to host the game.
“There’s nothing normal about this,” sighed Serie A newcomer Petkovic. “I don’t find it normal that they can’t agree on this date when they already knew the game was in Rome and the local elections would also be on May 26.
“This has nothing to do with Lazio and Roma, as the same thing would’ve happened if the finalists had been Juventus and Milan. Certain things ought to be decided and spotted earlier.”