Simone Inzaghi does not agree that Lazio would be better off out of the Europa League, but is targeting a top four finish ahead of today’s Lecce game.
It kicks off at 14.00 GMT, click here for a match preview.
Inzaghi was teammates with Lecce boss Fabio Liverani at Lazio, so they will have a reunion on the touchline.
“Fabio had a wonderful journey in his career, as he too started out with youth teams. He put his ideas into practice and is doing great things with Lecce, playing excellent football in Serie A with a positive intent. He has really given them an identity,” said Inzaghi in his press conference.
The Biancocelesti are almost out of the Europa League after a 2-1 home defeat to Celtic, having once again fumbled the lead with a poor second half performance.
“It’s disappointing, because we deserved much, much more. We also used up a lot of energy in that game on Thursday, so I have to choose the best players in the circumstances.
“Senad Lulic and Luis Alberto will certainly play, but I need to evaluate everyone else. I hope that Joaquin Correa is available, but unfortunately we have lost Stefan Radu and Adam Marusic. Felipe Caicedo pushed himself to the limits to help the team, despite having a knock that limited his movements.
“Since the start of the season we’ve had the same issues, as we create a lot of chances and don’t finish them. We’re working on it to avoid these blackouts.”
Inzaghi was asked about suggestions Lazio might be happier out of the Europa League so they can focus on a top four finish in Serie A.
“I don’t think so. Last season, when we won the Coppa Italia, we were happy that it also meant direct qualification for the Europa League. I fondly remember our run last season.
“We’ve had some unexpected developments this term and undeserved defeats. We were denied a stonewall penalty and honestly, I hear people criticise Italian referees, but they should see what we have to deal with in the rest of Europe.
“We want to improve, grow and raise the bar, not just when it comes to winning trophies, but also getting back into the Champions League. We’ll try with all our might.”
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