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Petkovic optimistic over Lazio task

By Football News



Vladimir Petkovic admits Fenerbahce have left Lazio with a mountain to climb if they are to qualify for the Europa League semi-finals.

Ogneyi Onazi's red card coupled with late strikes from Pierre Webo (penalty) and Dirk Kuyt consigned Lazio to a likely European elimination at the Sukru Saracoglu on Thursday.

And while their coach has been buoyed by the fact that the second leg is behind closed doors in Rome, their poor disciplinary record and significant deficit means their task is all the more difficult.

"Conceding three penalties and suffering two red cards in our last five Europa League games is far too steep. It's a pity, because at this level we deserve more support," Petkovic told Mediaset Premium after the match.

"The result can be overturned as Fenerbahce will not play in front of a crowd. I don't think playing behind closed doors in the second leg will affect us.

"We are used to it as they are. It's a shame that Mauri received a yellow for a 'foul'. We must fight against all odds."

Petkovic then looked ahead to the weekend's derby against Roma in Serie A and warned his Lazio players that they can have 'no excuses' for a below-par display, while providing the latest on the fitness of Miroslav Klose and Stefano Mauri.

"It's good to play in the derby next. We have so many important games left to play, so we have no excuses in terms of concentration and motivation when trying to get a result," the former Young Boys trainer said.

"Will Klose and Mauri be ready?' I don't know if they can play from the beginning. We will see their physical condition in the coming days."