Wednesday June 4 2014
Reja: Lazio needs character

Edy Reja has confirmed he will meet with Claudio Lotito soon to discuss his future, as he outlines what Lazio need from the transfer market.

Speculation has surrounded the veteran tactician’s position at the Olimpico, with it seen that an imminent meeting with the President to discuss projections could result in his exit in favour of Simone Inzaghi being promoted from the youth team.

“I spoke with Lotito an hour before we parted, we will meet when we have a little more time,” Reja has told this week.

“I’m not sure if it will be Friday, Saturday or Sunday, the President will know how it works - he sets appointments at noon and arrives at 10pm!

“He is particularly busy, we will find half a day and will discuss everything. Between us there are no problems. We release everything that we have within and after this talk we will decide together for the good of Lazio.

“Linked with other positions? I have a contractual obligation, and therefore have not accepted other situations. Then, we will see in the future.”

Reja was asked of the chances of seeing Simone Inzaghi as his successor.

“I do not know. I’ve met with him, he has worked well. Just like [Alberto] Bollini, who deserves more consideration, since he comes from three excellent years with the youngsters.

“He has developed these kids and Inzaghi has reaped the rewards, giving continuity to this project. With the youngsters he has done well, whilst it is a different matter to train a first team. The players are much more mature.

“I hope, should the day arrive for Inzaghi, that he will immediately get a feeling for the role. Character counts. He has this and has also been here for 10 years.

“But if Reja remains, Bollini remains, Inzaghi remains. And even the big names like Candreva, Lulic…”

Lazio are expected to take action in the summer transfer window and Reja considered where it is perhaps most important.

“With the departure of Biava and Dias we must initiate action in the defensive department, then I do not know what other areas of the field we will intervene in, it depends very much on the outbound operations.

“Before signing players we must also find solutions for those who are leaving. It is useless to take in new players and maintain a large squad. Lazio is not in the Europa League and as a result can work with less staff than in previous years.

“Certainly the new arrivals will have to be players for Lazio, I think the President knows this and will be willing to purchase those of value. In some evaluations you can then make a mistake, but the intention is to do well and establish a competitive team.

“I do not talk about first place because there is Juventus, Napoli and Roma who are superior, but right behind could be Lazio.”

Speculation is that one of the points Lotito and Reja may differ on is where to focus in the market, between established stars that the Coach is after and developing young prospects as the President hopes for.

“The youngsters are already at Lazio, it is useless to go in search of others. We have five or six players in the Primavera that we value very highly. Keita is a youngster we have already integrated. Minala has caught a glimpse of the team and we have Filippini, and others that are under observation and have shown good quality.

“Some are already mature, others less so, I’m sorry to name some and neglect others, there are players that may already be inserted.

“This team needs to first of all find an important structure - the goalkeeper, two centre-backs, an important midfielder and a striker. Around that you can find solutions with youngsters.

“However, we also need to find players of a certain character. It is one thing to be in a provincial team where perhaps there is less apprehension and there is the ability to wait, but in Rome you are judged immediately and you have to have players with great personality and who already have a little experience.

“Here the critics will cut you one, a newcomer with expectations can go wrong for a couple of games and can get into difficulty and even with the quality they may be conditioned by the performance.

“That is why we need players of quality but also of character.”

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