Time needed for Lazio transformation - Tudor

football29 March 2024 16:34| © Reuters
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Igor Tudor © Getty Images

New Lazio coach Igor Tudor believes it will take time to turn around his mid-table side following his appointment earlier this month.

Last season's runners-up will hope to salvage what remains of the campaign, starting with a home match on Saturday against Juventus, whom they will also face on Tuesday in the first leg of the Coppa Italia semifinal.

Lazio are ninth in Serie A, trailing Bologna by 11 points in fourth place, the last spot guaranteeing Champions League football next season, with nine league games left to play.

"The team must be the mirror of the coach, but it takes time and patience to transform this Lazio," the coach told a press conference on Friday.

"I've been here a little while. I'll try to do it quickly, but the team won’t be perfect, but we will work."

The 45-year-old Croatian took over the capital club on March 18, following Maurizio Sarri's resignation.

Tudor will return to the city of Turin for Tuesday's semifinal, having spent a significant part of his playing career as a defensive midfielder for Juve from 1998-2007.

"I spent seven or eight years there, in the period where a person is built. I’m grateful to Juventus," Tudor said.

"I had teammates and managers who made me become who I am now, especially due to the work culture."

Tudor added that he wouldn't heavily rely on line-ups from earlier this season when selecting the team.

"There is always respect for the past, but you don’t live in the past. Football is cruel. We have to win, the team counts," he said.

"They are eager and very proud. They are not ninth place players, they all want a chance to redeem themselves."