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By ESPN Staff
Jan 9, 2012

Reja demands better from Lazio

Lazio coach Edy Reja is looking for a drastic improvement from his players in Tuesday's Reja demands better from Lazio last-16 encounter with Hellas Verona.

The Romans crashed to a 4-0 defeat at Siena on Saturday in their first game of 2012, and Reja was scathing in his criticism of the team after the match.

"We ended 2011 with a poor performance against Chievo (a goalless draw) and we started the year even worse,'' Reja said. "I think this was our worst performance since I've been in charge of the team.

"We lacked character, we failed to react and my players could not wait for the game to end. We simply must leave this result behind us and begin afresh against Verona.''

Verona, the last club from outside the top flight still in the competition, beat Modena 2-1 in Serie B last weekend to climb to second in the standings, one point behind leaders Torino.

Udinese host Chievo on Wednesday looking to preserve their impressive run at home.

The Bianconeri, third in Serie A with 35 points, have won eight of their nine league games at the Friuli stadium. Francesco Guidolin's men began the year with a 4-1 victory over Cesena at the weekend.

Roma and Fiorentina will square off at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday with both sides heading into the encounter on the back of convincing wins.

Fiorentina won 3-0 at Novara to clinch their first triumph away from home this season while Roma captain Francesco Totti finally ended his goalscoring drought this season with two penalties in a 2-0 victory over Chievo.

The winner of the Roma-Fiorentina tie will face Serie A leaders Juventus in the quarter-finals.

Napoli head into Thursday's home game against relegation strugglers Cesena boosted by Sunday's 3-1 triumph at Palermo.

The remaining last-16 ties between AC Milan and Novara and Inter Milan and Genoa will be played next week.

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