Edy Reja feels he is “home again” on the Lazio bench against Inter tomorrow, but Vladimir Petkovic promised a fight.
The Stadio Olimpico hosts this Serie A tie on Monday at 17.30 GMT, click here for a match preview.
“I do believe I’m home again, as when I returned I had the feeling I’d never been gone,” said the Coach in his Press conference.
“The team showed its affection and that too gave me more motivation to do well.”
Reja left the club in June 2011, but came back on December 30 to replace his successor Petkovic. The move was only made official yesterday after Petkovic was controversially sacked for breach of contract.
“I am not just going to sit back and watch my reputation be destroyed,” Petkovic told Swiss media, promising a legal battle against the dismissal.
As for Reja, he has to keep the team focused on the pitch, as Lazio host Inter on Monday evening.
“Perhaps there was a lack of confidence, as if the President changes Coach then something wasn’t right,” continued Reja.
“The performances and results have not been worthy of a squad like Lazio. Our job is to build confidence and give precise reference points to build on. The players seemed a little timid psychologically, like they were holding back.”
It was believed Reja would only be a caretaker, but with Murat Yakin officially signing an extension with Basel, he could remain until June 2015.
“I am happy to stay and if there are the right conditions then we’ll continue together. I don’t like talking about contracts, but President Claudio Lotito showed great faith in me. This type of work has to be continued and you can’t just have an experience for six months.
“I complimented Petkovic when he arrived, because he had a different philosophy, but after training he realised the team had to play another way. From January onwards something else happened, but it was to a degree a positive year with the Coppa Italia victory.
“Now it’s too early to set objectives. We need to find the right system so the players believe in what they do during the week and have precise positions on the field. I know these players.”
Inter are a tough prospect, especially as they are confident following the derby victory over Milan.
“I faced Walter Mazzarri many times and we always had fair and intense battles. He says we have the advantage because of a new Coach, whereas I say he has the advantage because he has been working with the team for several months.
“Inter tend to wait for their opponents to make a mistake and are very dangerous on the counter with their midfielders pushing up. My team will need the right mentality and belief to control every area of the pitch.”