Thursday September 20 2012
Petkovic has Gazza regret

Lazio Coach Vladimir Petkovic is saddened that Paul Gascoigne won’t be present at tonight’s Europa League game against Tottenham.

The troubled former England player was a cult hero with both clubs, but has declined an invitation to attend for personal reasons.

Petkovic, who admits he was a big fan of Gazza when he played for Lazio in the early 1990s, hopes the star can make the return fixture in November.

Gascoigne left Tottenham for Lazio 20 years ago and he went on to score six goals in 43 games – including one against city rivals Roma.

After three years at the Stadio Olimpico, Gascoigne returned to Britain where he was highly successful with Glasgow Rangers.

However, Gascoigne has struggled with off the field problems in recent years.

“I followed Gascoigne when he was at Lazio and I know he was an idol to the fans,” Petkovic noted. “I am very sorry that he won't be there and that he is having these problems at the moment.

“I certainly hope that with the inner strength that he undoubtedly has, he will be able to recover and that he will be in Rome for the second leg.”