Friday January 24 2014
Reja: Juve best, but beatable

Edy Reja has hailed Juventus as ‘the strongest team in the League’, but says Lazio won’t be facing them already defeated.

The Aquile are unbeaten in three games but head into this weekend’s test at home to the Bianconeri struggling in terms of personnel available to them.

For their Coach, the opponents also deserve respect, but the Aquile should still hold belief this weekend.

“Juve are the strongest team in this League, for their individuality and organisation of their game,” Reja has told reporters today.

“We have worked to correct some defensive flaws that were highlighted against Udinese, as Juve exploit any mistake and grant their opponents none.

“We will not start with a beaten mentality, in Udine I saw a team with the right spirit and with great quality. The match must still be played.

“We look to Juve with a bit of concern, because we are facing the best team in the League, but we will try to cause them problems.

“During the week we worked well and I saw my team very focussed. We know how Juve play and we know where we can put them under pressure.

“Lichtsteiner and Asamoah are skilled on the flanks so we are unsure at the moment whether it is better to press Juve or sit back.

“Pogba and Vidal also make unpredictable movements so I will try to implement the most appropriate tactics to stop them.”

Lazio have lost Ederson for the rest of the season with a thigh injury.

“I am very sorry for Ederson as he has shown that he is a technically gifted player. He provided me with a few more options from the midfield up and I am sorry that he is unavailable but he is a strong guy and has great character. Hopefully he will return in six months and I will still be here.”

Reja also commented on his options in defence, as it is likely he will play three at the back.

“Konko is fine and I have some options in Crecco and Vinicius who have shown good qualities, but I will decide tomorrow.

“I have said that I would like to buy two quality players in the transfer market, two that can really make a difference. The board are working to make the team more competitive.

“We are still in an embryonic stage but I hope to see progress tomorrow night. There are still things that need perfecting but we are getting there slowly.”

Finally, Reja was asked whether or not he will order his players to close down Andrea Pirlo.

“Pirlo controls the whole game. He has great vision and can play balls accurate to the millimetre. We will not cage him but we have to do something to limit his play, as it is often decisive.”