Monday Apr 23, 2018  
  11/04/2014: Interview with Simone Inzaghi
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Fresh from leading the Primavera to the Coppa Italia, Simone Inzaghi spoke to Corriere dello Sport. It was Lazio's first win in the competition in 35 years and the first trophy for Inzaghi since taking over from Bollini in January.

Do you get the same joy from the bench?
"The adrenaline is the same, but the taste of victory is completely different. When you play, you are younger, you live more intensely but you are more carefree. As a coach you value the suffering and winning more because they are the fruits of your labour."

Judging from the two legs, everything went ok?
"It is to the merit of the boys. They have played two finals in the perfect manner. It's an outstanding group, we can achieve more satisfaction."

It's been a good start, the Coppa after a streak of 12 wins and 3 draws
"Yes, actually these guys are going beyond expectations. The Cup is ours and we have virtually acquired qualification to the last 8 in the league."

Who is ready for the big jump?
"Someone has already done it. I refer to Keita who is now part of the first team. Also Crecco and Minala who have made their debuts in Serie A. There are others who are ready and Reja has already included them on the bench in the past."

Will Tounkara follow the same road as Keita?
"He has great potential. Now it's up to him to earn his place in the first team. Tounkara is a striker, although he can play as a second striker, while Keita is a winger."

About the goalscorer, you transformed Crecco from midfielder to striker
"Tounkara was missing, so I advanced Crecco. He is like Lulic, he can play either high or low on the field. If I speak of individuals then I have to also mention Lombardi who opened the scoring on Wednesday."

After winning in Viareggio, did your brother Pippo follow your success?
"Pippo is doing a great job with Milan, I'm trying with Lazio. I was on the field celebrating with boys and I had 3 missed calls from him. He was very happy, he has a soft spot for Lombardi. On Wednesday we celebrated together with our parents, my son and girlfriend."

For you youth football is a springboard to something greater?
"I've just arrived with the Primavera so now I'm only interested in this experience. We will see in the future."

You have played sixteen matches so far and there has been no game without a goal
"We work to be offensive. I want the team to push forward with many men, even the midfielders. When the fullbacks go forward, I want 5-6 men to be up there. The aim is to score, but you have to find a balance".

Who inspires you?
"I've learned from many. Materazzi was crucial, but also Eriksson and Mancini. Mancini was often angry with me. In training exercises we played 11 vs 0. We would build plays without any opponents and he wanted us always to score. It is a method I use now."

You have been at Lazio for 15 years and received offers from Juventus and Fiorentina Primavera. Why did you stay?
"I am tied to these colours. It is difficult to detach myself, I don't want to leave. The relationship with Lotito is good, we don't have the same pressure but I know the task at hand. He was very serious in Florence, now we will to give him another Scudetto."

 Do you believe Lazio will make it to the Europa League?
"I am convinced it will. Since Reja's arrival, the team has kept up a pace that should enable them to finish 6th."

What do you know about Djordjevic?
"A little, I only saw him a few times on TV. I asked Mihajlovic , he told me Lazio made a great purchase so I trust him."

Author: Giannino Capaldi
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