Saturday October 19 2013
Petkovic 'optimistic' on Lazio

Lazio Coach Vladimir Petkovic is “optimistic” about his team’s prospects this season, starting from Atalanta.

The Aquile visit Bergamo on Sunday at 11.30am UK time (10.30 GMT), click here for a match preview.

“There are some players who have returned to fitness, such as Miroslav Klose, so I prefer to see the glass as half-full,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“I am happy with the intensity and concentration of my players, as it’s pleasing to see a team that wants to do everything in order to win.

“It was important to test out various options, as nothing we do on the field ought to be improvised. Some are tired after international duty, but I took the opportunity to train with those who haven’t had as many chances.

“There are numerous games ahead of us this season, so there is the time and space for everyone to express their real worth. I’ll need all of my players and I am optimistic.”

Although Klose is back a month after knee surgery, he is still lacking match fitness.

“It’s difficult to evaluate his condition. Klose is not 100 per cent, but he can be useful for at least an hour. The same is true for the South Americans who returned late from World Cup qualifiers,” continued Petkovic.

“Atalanta are in good shape and always give their best on home turf. It’ll be important for us to break their tactical balance and discipline.

“We have reacted well to difficulties and must transform all that intensity and quality from training into the match situation.”

Lazio have managed just one point in three away fixtures in Serie A this season, a 3-3 draw with Sassuolo.

“It is also important to end this taboo of away games. We can always leave the field with our heads held high with these players and look to the future with optimism.”

Naturally, the Lazio boss was asked how it felt to see rivals Roma top the Serie A table with a perfect record after eight games.

“Everyone has to look after their own patch. Roma are fired up, everything is going their way at the moment and I tip my hat to them. The season is long, though, and I remain optimistic.”