Lazio's Gonzalez wants smart approach
By Football News
Lazio winger Alvaro Gonzalez has called on his team-mates to show more intelligence in the Coppa Italia final against local rivals Roma.
Gonzalez has argued Lazio have shown 'a lack of intelligence' in big games during the second half of the season after being knocked out of the UEFA Europa League by Fenerbahce and plummeting from third in Serie A before Christmas to eighth with four rounds remaining.
Lazio have not won in six matches in all competitions, while they have only won four times in Serie A since New Year's Day, but Gonzalez wants the team to use the Coppa Italia final on May 26 to salvage their season.
The 28-year-old Uruguayan has warned Lazio to not get carried away by the derby atmosphere against Roma.
"You get emotional in these kind of matches," Gonzalez said.
"The energy is amazing and you play it with your heart.
"Therefore, you have to give your best, not only physically but you have to use your head and that is something we were missing this year.
"This team has a lot of qualities but we had a lack of intelligence in the most important moments."
Gonzalez bemoaned Lazio's disappointing second half of the season, dropping out of contention for Champions League qualification as well as missing out on a semi-final berth in the Europa League.
Lazio sit 10 points behind third-placed AC Milan, who hold Serie A's spot in the qualifying stages of next season's Champions League, while they conceded late goals on three occasions against Fenerbahce to get knocked out of the Europa League.
"We want to finish this year the best way we can," Gonzalez said.
"Roma versus Lazio will be a match not only watched in Italy but across the world because it's so important, it's very emotional and would be very nice to play there.
"I hope we are up for that match."