Spalletti: Prospect of a final makes these derby clashes even bigger
The Giallorossi go into the two-legged affair against their city rivals knowing that victory will secure them a spot in the final of this season’s Coppa Italia, which will also take place at the Stadio Olimpico.
That should prove extra motivation to the players – although Lazio have the same incentive to give it their all.
“I think it’s very similar to other derby matches,”
Spalletti told reporters. “Giving everything you’ve got should be a constant in this job.
“When you’ve got a fanbase behind you like the Giallorossi one and you’re a professional, you are required to behave and perform like one. You want to display strength and conviction. That applies to both the players and me.
“The derby is important for three reasons, because it gives us the chance to make the final. Plus it’s important to our fans and we’re well aware of what matters to the supporters. We’ve always squeezed out every last drop as we approach games.
“I haven’t seen anyone who’s not on board with this cause. But this time we’ll dig even deeper.”
From a more pragmatic perspective, the derby will be notable for two reasons: the first game since the barriers in the Olimpico have been lowered (ahead of their potential removal) and a rare city derby played in the evening.
It is a chance for both sets of fans to show that such occasions can go off without issue.
“I’m always confident and it’s a big occasion,”
Spalletti said. “I believe that when there are two views at opposite ends of the spectrum, the compromise is always bang in the middle. It’s unlikely someone is willing to say you’re completely right. We have to do our bit.
“Our aim is to experience nights of football like these. This has to be the peak of all our careers. I prefer evening kick-offs as they’re more exciting and there’s a better atmosphere. I’ve had the chance to travel all over the world and I’ve seen that evening kick-offs are the best games.
“They’re giving us a chance and we need to meet them in the middle. I would go and watch tomorrow’s match and tell my daughter all about it on the way home.”
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