Lazio to Sporting: Khedira calls for concentration
“I’m happy to be back with the squad. Six weeks without playing a competitive game is a really long time. I didn’t think it would be so long, but it was important not to rush back and take any risks and potentially miss even more games further down the line.
“Right now, I feel good and don’t feel any pain. I need to get back into the swing of full-on training and matches, but I’m ready now.”
CONCENTRATION THE KEY
“We’ll review Saturday’s performance just like we do after every match. Win or lose, that’s what we always do. Against Lazio, I think we played a good first half and should probably have taken more than just a one-goal lead into half-time, but we dropped off in the second period and didn’t defend so well. That is something we are speaking about and addressing at the moment.
“One of the areas we need to work hardest on at the moment is our concentration, as we’ve surrendered leads in two straight games now against Atalanta and Lazio. These are the kinds of opponents who can do you harm if you don’t keep full focus. If you’re ahead in matches, you must not sit back but, on the contrary, look to score more goals without ever taking victory for granted. If we concede too often, this isn’t down to our formation, but our movement and positioning on the pitch.”
A WORD ON THE SCUDETTO RIVALS
“Napoli and Inter are both in excellent form. They’re two great coaches and are putting in some big performances. Inter, for example, are much-improved on last season. They’re more solid and organised and they keep their focus.
“Being five points behind Napoli isn’t good, but it’s a long season and our results in recent years suggest that we are obviously among the main candidates for the Scudetto.”
NEW BOYS BEDDING IN
“Blaise [Matuidi] is a player who’d already proven his quality both at PSG and the French national team, so it’s no surprise for me that he’s been doing well here. He is physically strong, but there’s also a lot more to his game than that.
“Regarding Rodrigo [Bentancur], he’s young but very talented and not at all timid: he’s always asking for the ball and tries to move the team forwards. He has a great future with us.”
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