Vladimir Petkovic warns “all the negativity isn’t helping” Lazio, but he “expects more from the players.”
They were jeered off the field after a 0-0 draw with Trabzonspor, which saw them go through as runners-up in Europa League Group J.
“Lately the goal is becoming a problem, as even when we play well it doesn’t turn into goals and that affects our self-esteem,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.
“In any case, I am optimistic, as tonight I saw a team that had several good chances to win the game and tried hard.
“During the week we try to take the drama out of the situation, as this is a sport we all want to play and you don’t get anywhere with cramp in your stomach or brain. Unfortunately you need results to break through certain situations.
“We have to accept the jeers, keep working, create more confidence within the team and spread that to the stands.
“This side needs more hunger, but at the moment we try to make things too complicated and that’s where we must improve. We must stay calm and stick to the simple moves.
“Unfortunately at the moment we are lacking consistency and grit. It certainly isn’t a good period and every individual player depends on the team, which is why we all have to give more. All the negativity isn’t helping, but we have to stay positive. I will continue to put my faith in the players, but I also expect more from them going forward.”
Going through in second place means the Biancocelesti can expect an extremely tough draw in the Round of 32, but Petkovic is more concerned with the fact they are in the bottom half of the Serie A table.
“Central European clubs could be interesting. Others have an advantage by playing the second leg at home, but we saw last season it’s all relative.
“Right now the important thing is to focus on Serie A and bringing back three points against Livorno. That is the most important match.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's World Cup tipster competition - £10,000 to be won!