Vladimir Petkovic is confident Lazio can beat Juventus for the Italian Super Cup on Sunday. “Mentality will be fundamental.”
The Coppa Italia holders take on the Scudetto winners at 20.00 UK time at the Stadio Olimpico tomorrow evening.
“I have been happy over the summer at not having to reply to too many questions,” joked the Coach in his Press conference.
“We have improved in every sense and tomorrow the team will give its response on the field. Our heads must be in top condition, just like in the Coppa Italia Final. Mentality will be fundamental against a very strong Juve.
“If we both play at 100 per cent, then we would have more problems than Juventus, but I am sure we can make life difficult for them. We’ll do everything possible to win.”
Last season the Biancocelesti knocked Juve out of the Coppa Italia and lost only one of four encounters.
“At the start we struggled to contain Juve, but then with courage we saw the team attack as a unit. This has to be the spirit we follow tomorrow, imposing our style of play on Juventus.
“The Bianconeri are stronger than last term, as they haven’t sold any of their big stars and brought in some valid newcomers. It’s up to them to confirm that on the pitch, though.”
Lazio have reinforced since beating Roma 1-0 to lift the Coppa Italia in May, bringing in the likes of Lucas Biglia in midfield.
“We do have something more now, yes. We are not all ready, as there have been some injuries, but I’m curious to see at what level we perform tomorrow. We are solid defensively and need to be more clinical in attack, because Juve won’t allow us too many chances.”
The Italian Super Cup arrives only a few days after international duty, with many players travelling halfway round the world and back.
“We had 11 or 12 players away on international duty this week, which fills us with pride. Hernanes can take the team by the hand and prove his leadership,” continued Petkovic.
“With this match we conclude the first era and open a new one. Victory must motivate us more and we need the support of our fans, as this is going to be an action-packed season and we’ll do all we can to honour the jersey on three fronts.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition  - £11,000 to be won monthly!