Thursday Oct 22, 2020  
  04/04/2011: Reja, bitter but hopeful: "Europe is still within reach"
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Last night was not enough to calm Edy Reja. Today the Lazio coach still feels bitterness from the loss at Napoli.

Reja is aware that his team did not use the 2-0 advatnage to their benefit and that if it weren't for the defensive mishaps he would have completed a strategic masterpiece at Naples. Early preparations, 60 minutes of success in applying the plan, fast counterattacks by Gonzalez and Sculli, Mauri who shined in the game and held the midfield well, even the exclusion of Hernanes and having Bresciano was working well. Then all fell apart, terrible positioning made Lazio pay the price. After having time to review the game again Reja said:  

"We know we delivered a good performance, what happened in the game showed that Lazio deserved a better result. All four goals of Napoli arrived from dead balls. Maybe the 2-0 advantage had us high and we lost concentration. we should have had better positioning, better marking from our players. From a tactica; perspective, we had a perfect game. It is a pitty we failed to capitalize on the chances of Mauri and Sculli."

Against Napoli Lazio was betrayed by its defense, the strongest point it had all season has failed the team. But one cannot ignore the controversial decision of Banti, the disallowed goal of Brocchi, and the expulsion of Biava.

It was this expulsion that made Reja furious: "We had a chance to win the game and that situation affected the outcome. I can understand that the referee did not see the ball crossing the line but the linesman should mention it. I had the feeling he was going to raise the flag."

But Reja keeps his faith "Nothing is over yet, the Champions League is still possible, it is necessary despite all what happened to turn the page. It is true that had we gotten a good result in Naples, we would have had a great advantage; but looking at the results of others, Europe is still within our reach. We must continue now, our game against Parma will be difficult as they have sacked Marino, and we know that when there is a change, it excites a reaction. We will have to be ready and avoid the mistakes of yesterday on set pieces. We still have seven games ahead." 

Reja knowing the importance of the fans has called the laziali: "From now until the end of the season, we have three home games. I ask the fans to stay close to the team, to the players and ecnourage us the whole 90 minutes. We have a real chance to reach an important goal together. Look at Napoli fans yesterday, the fans never booed if one made a mistake, on the contrary they were always encouraging. When a player feels the affection of the fans, he gives more."

Mahyar Yahfoufi
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