Dusan Basta took some time out to speak to Lazio Style Radio 89.3 ahead of the match against Sassuolo on Sunday, his switch to Lazio last summer and upcoming Coppa Italia clashes with Napoli.
Against Palermo, the team responded very well after going a goal down. Why was this so important?
"When you win it is always good, that is the spirit our squad has. If we fall behind we want to overturn the result, this is very important and we did this superbly against Palermo. It was a fantastic performance and result".
How have you acclimatised in Rome in terms of the weather and also your role at Lazio?
"At the beginning it was a bit difficult as a new move is never easy, but also because of the very hot and humid summer weather. But it must be said that before I arrived in Italy some years ago I played in Red Star Belgrade, where the temperatures are very hot so that certainly helped me. In Udine the weather is cooler and the city is much quieter”.
“In Serbia I played in the same position that I now hold in Rome, while in Udinese I often played in a three-man defense. This means that now I can attack more as I am back and forth with the midfield line. When you are in a four-man defense you are forced to defend and then attack as one so it takes some time to get used to".
Next there is the trip to Sassuolo. What are your thoughts about that game?
"Sassuolo are an excellent team who are worthy of a higher position than where they are currently sitting. It will not be easy, we will be playing away from home and we will have to play a perfect match. We must have the right attitude for this one as every game is different”.
“The important thing for us is that we recovered well after the two defeats to Genoa and Cesena so we must continue on this path. We must remain humble and take things one step at a time. We have a very good, strong squad and we are playing well but this does not a guarantee a positive result. Only with the right mindset we can do something great against Sassuolo and for the remainder of the season".
What are your thoughts on working with Stefano Pioli?
"He has built a strong spirit to always attack opponents, as this is the modern game and our philosophy. To play this kind of football you have to have the right players and everyone must be very fit, which I believe we are”.
“At the pre-season training camp I remember we had to sing the club anthem! For me this was very new and the first time I was in such a situation. We were all a bit surprised, but it was a really beautiful thing. He really believes in team work and group cohesion in order to succeed, and even if you do not play as much as you would like he still makes you feel important. He says that we will all get our chances and that each one of us must remain ready”.
When will we see you back on the field?
"I am back to training and feeling much better. The coach will decide when I play again, I feel ready to return".
In March three players are expected to return to action (Senad Lulic, Santiago Gentiletti and Filip Djordjevic). How important are they?
"They are three very important players for us and hopefully they come back very soon. They are true professionals who are working hard to regain fitness following their injuries and very determined to come back stronger than before".
What about the Coppa Italia semi-final against Napoli?
"This will be a big game for us. But first, there is the Sassuolo we must fully focus on, and then we will start preparing for the two matches against Napoli. We think of every game one step at a time".