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Petkovic says Lazio have no excuses

SoccerNews in Serie A 18 Feb 2013

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Lazio coach Vladimir Petkovic wants his side to give ‘120 percent’ against Siena despite facing a tough midweek Europa League encounter.

Lazio coach Vladimir Petkovic wants his side to give ‘120 percent’ against Siena despite facing a tough midweek Europa League encounter.

Lazio played out a thrilling 3-3 draw with Borussia Moenchengladbach midway through last week in a match Petkovic described as simply ‘crazy’ but the boss has insisted that playing in European competition should be no excuse for poor domestic form.

Lazio, though, have been going through a tough run at home, having not won their last three Serie A matches to drop down to fourth on the Italian table, 11 points behind league leader Juventus.

Their best result in that period was last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Napoli but Petkovic is desperate to turn the domestic form around, especially as his side can climb above AC Milan into third on the table with a win over Siena on Monday.

“We have no alibis,” Petkovic declared.

“Europe can cause tiredness, as we saw with Juventus losing to Roma last night (just four days after their midweek win over Celtic), but we wanted the bicycle, so now let’s get pedalling.

“We are close to the levels we were at a few weeks ago, so I am not worried.

“Are we thinking about the Scudetto? No, if anything we’re looking over our shoulder, seeing as from the start of the season people treat us as if we’re a little club.

Lazio have traditionally struggled against Siena, and were beaten 4-0 in the fixture last season, but Petkovic has urged his side to push for all three points on Monday.

“We must not fail. This game will require us to play at 120 per cent of our potential,” he said.

“It’s true we have been a little unlucky recently, but fortune favours the brave.

“It just means we must be more concentrated and gritty, especially in defence. We can’t keep conceding goals on set pieces.”

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