Saturday May 14 2011
Ballardini won't be easy on Lazio

Genoa boss Davide Ballardini takes on his former club, but has no intention of giving Lazio an easy ride towards Champions League football.

The Grifone could be forgiven for relaxing after securing safety and beating arch rivals Sampdoria at the 96th minute last week.

“All Coaches and all teams want to do well. We will do our duty,” assured Ballardini ahead of today's 17.00 UK time kick-off.

“Nothing is ever easy, as we work all week to achieve the peace of mind needed to step on to the field.

“Lazio have changed gear since January 2010, as that is when they resolved the Goran Pandev and Cristian Ledesma sagas as well as making numerous important signings. They deserve to make it into the Champions League.”

Ballardini was sacked by the Biancocelesti in February 2010 when they were in the relegation zone, but Edy Reja and the market have transformed their fortunes.

This is in part because Pandev was released to join Inter and Ledesma resolved his contract dispute with Lazio, as the two players had been frozen out for six months under Ballardini's reign.

The future doesn't look particularly bright for the Coach right now either, as President Enrico Preziosi has hinted at a change of management.

“The President has every right to take all the time he needs.”