From having beaten early opponents easily, the trend in the summer friendlies pointed towards a coming loss. After having beaten Luzern FC, Lazio played out a draw against Sparta Prag, and eventually lost against Osasuna.
The game ended 1-0, as the visitors’ skipper Javad Nekonam sent a well placed shot behind Bizzari in the second half. More than 4000 supporters had gathered in Fiuggi to follow Lazio preparations for the coming season, and all travelled home disappointed. Losing a friendly is not the end of the world, but Lazio appeared tired and uninterested, with very few chances created as well as once again having had to face the weakness found in central defence.
Edoardo Reja spoke to media after the game, and early enough stated that it is not the results one should look at. Both to Ansa and Corriere dello Sport the coach underlined the team will be ready once the season kicks off. He then went on stating: “The result does not worry me at all. In fact, I do not even count on the results. I wanted to see improvement in the collective game, and less so on an individual basis. We still need to improve our positioning, but in the first half you all so a Lazio that barely left any room for the opponent to work on. In the second half we created a lot more chances as I wanted to see a more individual approach to the game, but we also conceded because of that”, an analysis carried out by the mastermind, concluding the game well.
“We are still in the early stages of the preparation; the most important thing to focus on now is to give the boys time on the pitch. As you have all seen I field two separate teams in the friendly games, so that everybody gets some playing time” the coach said, and continued “We have players with great personality; professionals who are all good footballers. I repeat myself – the result in this game was not important, but rather an opportunity for the team to become better tactically and collectively.”
Lazio will now continue the second part of the summer preparations in Fiuggi, before playing two friendlies this coming Sunday. As reported earlier on Lazioland.com, Reja has decided to divide the team into two with “Lazio A” travelling to Spain to face Villarreal, while “Lazio B”, with an addition of primavera players, will face Reggina at home.