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Garcia ready for Rome derby

Roma manager Rudi Garcia is relishing his first derby meeting with Lazio as he looks to extend his side’s winning start to the season.

Garcia’s side go ino Sunday’s clash against their city rivals high on confidence after registering nine points from their first three Serie A games of the season.

However, Roma have failed to win any of the last five fixtures with Lazio in all competitions – with their neighbours’ Coppa Italia final win in May being their fourth success in two years.

However, former Lille boss Garcia believes his team can end this hoodoo at the Stadio Olimpico this weekend.

“The past is not important, we’re looking forward,” he said. “We’ll give our all tomorrow, the players are calm and have trained well.

“You don’t play a derby – you win it. We’re playing at home so we’ll have 12 men. The Curva Sud will be full and that’s very important for us.

“A derby is unlike any other match, especially for the fans. It’s important not to heap too much pressure on the players.

“We’re ready – there’ll be no need to motivate the guys tomorrow, that’s for sure.”

Unlike Lazio, Roma have not been involved in European football this week and Garcia hopes they can take advantage of their rivals’ tired legs.

“I know what it’s like to have three games in a week,” he added. “Lazio will show a drop in fitness at some point, we must take advantage.

“It’s crucial that we stay focused on ourselves and not the opposition. We must play our own game

“We have to play an intelligent game, using our heads and not only our legs. We’re in the right frame of mind.”

Sat 21 September, 2013
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