Saturday Jan 23, 2021  
  20/07/2011: Auronzo di Cadore: Day Thirteen
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Libor Kozak has arrived in Auronzo to give some competition to the Lazio forwards. At present, he will be focused on bringing himself back up to speed following his short break after the Czech Republic's exit from the U-21 Euro Championship.

Meanwhile the others started the morning with more conditioning exercises. Some were forced to work from the mats with others being asked to carry out some ball possession exercises. Reja devised a seven-a-side game to aid the process. It finished 3-3 with the teams as follows;

The Red Team - Bizzarri, Stankevicius, Zauri, Garrido, Foggia, Makinwa, Cisse.

The Sky Blue Team - Berardi, Cavanda, Dias, Ceccarelli, Del Nero, Cana, Zarate.

The majority of these teams were made up of individuals who had received little or no time in the friendlies. Cisse and Stankevicius were present to boost their fitness, since they arrived at Auronzo later than the others. Cana and Dias were there as the former was overcoming tonsillitis while the latter had a muscular injury. And Zarate was there because... well... insert your own theory here...

Today's afternoon was with Cristian Brocchi:

"We are a new team full of players of great quality. We have improved from last season. The new signings have brought experience, charisma and personality. It's good to see our fans happy and content and dreaming of something beautiful, something important. After last season, proving that we have a really strong group, we are enpowered by this stronger unit and it allows us to look at the highest goals. It is definitely a team with the ability to reach the top league positions. If you look at the names in the squad, we cannot fail but to be high in the league. We put everything into reaching these goals last year, the incentive this year is to reach them."

Brocchi went on to discuss other matters. He was found to be lost for words about the derby, could only apologise on behalf of the team and expressed gratitude at the enhanced choreography level of the biancocelesti. He is inspired by AC Milan and Napoli's achievements last season and sees no reason why this Lazio cannot contend. He believes Lazio not only have a squad to make the Champions League but also a team that can cope with it. He praised the acquisition of Lorik Cana and defended Mauro Zarate. Finally, he said he feels better physically now than last season, he hopes to play more and at least for another season with Lazio beyond the upcoming one.

Tomorrow, Luzern. The first proper test for a team that has much to consider.

(Cathal Mullan)

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