Edy Reja insists “it isn’t over” for Lazio’s European ambitions as the team in crisis visit Cagliari on Sunday.
It kicks off at 14.00 GMT, click here for a match preview.
“It isn’t over for European qualification and we’ll try to face the next few games in the best possible way,” said the Coach in his Press conference.
The tension within the Biancocelesti camp is sky high, as ultras will continue their protest against President Claudio Lotito by leaving the stands empty.
“It’s usually a relief to play on home turf in front of your own fans, even if in recent games that hasn’t been the case. We’ve done well on our travels and have to get back to picking up points.
“It will be tough against a Cagliari side that play well and are above all dangerous in attack, especially now Victor Ibarbo has recovered from injury. I’ve seen them play many times and Diego Lopez is doing a great job. I trust my team to put in a determined performance.”
Antonio Candreva is suspended, but Reja warned Lazio cannot keep relying on Miroslav Klose.
“He loves Lazio and wants to do well, but we cannot always depend on individuals. Klose is the forward focus point, but the whole team has to push the ball forward.”
Reja replaced Vladimir Petkovic over the Christmas break, but in recent weeks they have crashed out of the Europa League at the Round of 32 stage and slipped to eighth place in Serie A.
“I thought that we’d reach the Europa League places. It was unthinkable when I first arrived, but I believed we could do it.
“We’ve got an average of two points per game, so if we maintain that then we can get into Europe, but it means we cannot fail again. I am interested in keeping a decent distance with those in front so we can gamble it all in the head-to-head clashes.
“We mustn’t let ourselves drift away from that group, otherwise we’d end the season with nothing more to play for. I didn’t come here for this.
“The next games are all like Cup Finals. The club is working for the future and certain young players are already blooming. Our plan is not to sign players already above 30, but those between 24 and 27 who are at their professional peak.”