Saturday March 8 2014
Reja 'heartache' at Lazio protest

Edy Reja said it “hurts my heart” to see the fan protest that empties the Olimpico for Lazio’s game with Atalanta.

It kicks off on Sunday at 14.00 GMT, click here for a match preview.

“It’s a great shame to hear only 2,000 tickets have been sold,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“Having our fans close to us is almost indispensible, so to see the Olimpico so empty hurts my heart. The team does not have the home advantage if the crowd isn’t there.

“We need common sense from everyone involves and I hope people can get back to participating in Lazio’s campaign. Criticism is the spice of this sport, but we need the fans close to this team.”

The ultras are protesting against President Claudio Lotito, having previously held a march through the city and then held up thousands of signs urging someone to ‘Free Lazio.’

“It won’t be easy against Atalanta, as they have been working together for a long time. However, Lazio are improving. Everyone is fired up and the time off for international duty recharged their motivations too.

“We need to win and follow up our recent good results. By winning this game, we could open up a new phase of the season for Lazio. It will be important to break the deadlock early.”

Cristian Ledesma is not 100 per cent fit and could miss out, while Reja refused to say whether he’d put Keita Balde Diao back into the starting XI.

Miroslav Klose played for Germany on Wednesday and the Coach insisted he was not annoyed at the veteran’s extra workload.

“I am pleased he played, as a champion like him is decisive for us. He has to give his support as always, but even more so in this phase of the campaign. Eddy Onazi had a long journey and he’s not doing as well as the others who were on international duty.

“The team is pressing higher up the pitch and we have developed our style of football. We are in good shape and that is comforting.

“This can be a round that goes in our favour, but only if we achieve our own objective.”