Edy Reja believes Lazio can shift focus to European qualification after securing their future in the Serie A with victory over Fiorentina.
Despite being one of the front runners early in the campaign, Reja has consistently talked down Lazio’s prospects of remaining in contention for the Serie A title.
After struggling for much of last season and finishing only 11 points clear of the relegation zone, veteran coach Reja ensured his players were focused on guaranteeing their survival in the top flight.
While the prospect of slipping into the bottom three became increasingly remote with each victory, it took a 2-0 win at home to Fiorentina on Saturday to make absolutely certain they would not run into trouble again.
“Today we have 40 points, therefore are mathematically safe and anything else that we achieve this season will be a bonus,” Reja said.
“We’ll battle for the Europa League, as that is now our objective. If we achieve that, then it will have been a great campaign.”
Czech youngster Libor Kozak impressed Reja by scoring both goals in the victory at the Stadio Olimpico.
“Kozak had already shown against Roma that he had talent and did so again not just with his goals, but also his work rate,” he said.
“This lad can see the net and that is down to instinct, plus we’ve worked with him over the last six months to help him improve.”
Fiorentina meanwhile are just six points clear of the relegation places.
According to coach Sinisa Mihajlovic, they have only themselves to blame.
“We are in an ugly situation and got ourselves into it,” Mihajlovic said.
“Now it is up to us to get ourselves out of it too.”
“I am somebody who never gives in and I’m accustomed to battling for every result.”
“At this moment in time, though, we mustn’t raise our voices. We must instead remain calm and prepare for the next match.”