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The Aquile tactician is refusing to back-track…

After coming down heavy on star player Mauro Zarate in the wake of Lazio’s victory over Livorno midweek, coach Davide Ballardini has refused to back-track following threats from the Argentine’s agent that he could quit the capital club.

“I don’t think it is over the top to try and put right the wrongdoings of young players,” Ballardini declared to Ansa in Saturday’s press conference.

“It is my duty as a coach to educate and improve the boys in their profession. I didn’t publicly accuse the player and I only said things that we had talked about earlier as a squad in which Zarate is present.

“I believe it doesn’t help anyone to have unruly players who think they can do as they please; this isn’t referring only to Zarate but more a general statement.”

Following threats from the Argentine’s brother-agent that the player could quit unless he receives an apology, the coach then gave a firm response as to who he believes should be apologising.

“I don’t see why I should apologise, maybe the contrary. I think an improving Zarate both as a man and a player is in Lazio’s interests, and we all want him to become the best he can be.”

Stefano Federici, Goal.com

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