Lazio manager Edy Reja has refused to rule his side out of the Serie A title race after they leapfrogged Udinese into third place with a 2-1 over bitter rivals Roma.
An early sending off for Roma goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg made the task easier for the Biancoceleste and goals from Hernanes and Stefano Mauri saw them through in the fiery derby.
The result saw Lazio go into the third and final Champions League place with a two-point lead over Udinese, who were held to a goalless draw by Atalanta.
It seems like a spot in Europe’s premier club competition isn’t enough for Reja, recently had his resignation letter rejected from the board for the second time this season after a humiliating 5-1 defeat to Palermo.
He believes that the club are capable of mounting a challenge for the Scudetto now that they are only two points behind Juventus, who have a game in hand, and six behind AC Milan.
Reja called for his players to keep believing, telling Lazio Style Radio: “At Lazio, we have everything to play for in the league, we must keep believing. We need to keep chasing Milan and see if they lose matches.”
“I want you to recognise the values of this team. We must always go on to the field to win. Now, let’s enjoy this, but even with Bologna next, it will be tough and that is followed by facing the revelation of the season, Catania.
“We have to think about doing the best we can, achieving the maximum, then if we do not win, it is only because the opponent is better than us.”
Meanwhile, Manchester United striker Federico Macheda has expressed his desire to return to Italian side Lazio in the future.
With his first team opportunities severely limited in the Manchester United squad, Macheda was sent out on loan to Queens Park Rangers this season. The Italian had signed for the Red Devils from the Lazio youth team, and he told Corriere Dello Sport that he could not rule out a homecoming to his boyhood club.
“I’d like to come back to Lazio in the future, I always said it, but I don’t know my future yet, I have a contract with Manchester United until 2014, but in June I will end the loan and we will see.” Macheda revealed.
Lazio will host Bologna next on Sunday at the Stadio Olimpico.