Friday Apr 27, 2018  
  14/07/2014: Pioli: "We want to do everything to turn the page"
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Stefano Pioli has had his first press conference of S.S. Lazio's pre-season program. It was quite a diverse session with Pioli tackling a range of topics, beginning with the World Cup.

Are you proud to have two Lazio players in the World Cup final, Klose and Biglia?

"Very. Miro has come to the end of an incredible journey with two milestones; the goal record and the trophy. He deserves our greatest compliments and we are honoured to have him. Biglia will be disappointed, but should be satisfied as he has shown his quality with Argentina."

"Klose is an example to us. We aspire to make a major breakthrough and we need his quality."

How's the job going?

"The first week went well. Our aim is to teach our ideology and methods and bring continuity to the team. If the players pursue it, it will be a great achievement, and so far they have gone with it."

Have you found a group motivated by the past?

"Yes, the entire group. We do not come off a good season, but we want to do everything to turn the page. The workload is going to increase and the players must understand that hard work now will pay off later."

You have few midfielders here. Was playing Felipe Anderson in a deeper role an emergency measure or could that be a future role?

"He has the ability to do so. I like players who can play many positions, players who are versatile. He must work on exploiting space, and must contribute more in keeping possession. With his characteristics, he is a player more suited to attack than defence."

Is the market priority still two centre-backs?

"The company have been clear in saying Biava and Dias will be replaced. When I have these defenders, it will important to work immediately on integrating them."

Have you a hierarchy for your goalkeepers?

"Currently, there are no hierarchies, but I'm happy and calm with the goalkeeping department."

Are you satisfied with the test yesterday [Lazio's 10-0 win over CS Auronzo]?

It is normal to see some positives and negatives at this stage. We have to do so much work, because what you do on the field is a reflection of how you work. Yesterday, some things were good, some things not, and that is normal."

How have you found Djordjevic?

"He's good. Has excellent physical attributes and good technique, and he works for the team. He is always trying to retrieve the ball and has the right attitude and fits well. The current signs are not enough to make a definitive judgement."

And with Braafheid?

"Too early to say whether he will remain or not."

There's less athletic work in training and more...?

"We work more with the ball. I find it is more motivating and useful."

It seems Cataldi is ready and Keita will continue his progress?

"Cataldi is a young man who has already proved his worth in a league as difficult as Serie B and I think he is up to the job. Keita is very good and has great quality, but needs to be more of a team player. With him [Keita], we are working from an already high level. I think the attitudes exhibited by Germany [the national side in the World Cup] can be an example to them."

With the arrival of two centre-backs, the team would be ready for Europe?

"Absolutely, yes"

With the two previous coaches, Biglia was seen as the director and in competition with Ledesma. What are the characteristics of the more defensive midfielders?

"There are players better suited to defending, and then players like Pirlo who build play. I believe Ledesma and Biglia can fulfil those roles and contribute to both those phases of play. With Biglia, I like the quality of his play, his physicality and his dynamism, although I have not had the chance to work with him yet. Ledesma also has excellent features. In my head, there is no "play one or the other", but there is the desire to find the balance to ensure substance, shape, dynamism and unity. This is what we need and when I field three midfielders, I will field the three midfielders who can provide these characteristics."
Author: Cathal Mullan
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