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Ederson says S.S. Lazio are aiming to wrap up their place in the UEFA Europa League knockout stages as quickly as possible after going top of Group J. Their match-winner against NK Maribor believes the upcoming double-header with Panathinaikos FC will be decisive but adds that this could just be the start. Maribor duo Tavares and Jasmin Handanovič are hoping for lift-off themselves as they bemoaned a defeat they felt could, and perhaps should, have been avoided.
Ederson, Lazio midfielder
It was a great win, and an important one too. We knew that if we won, we could go top of our group and we have done that, so we have to continue on this path and qualify as soon as possible. As soon as we have guaranteed our progress, we can manage the games better to allow us to focus on our league and Europe. We have got to carry on like this, putting a winning streak together – we won at the weekend, we have won tonight and this could be important for us.
We have certainly taken a big step forward and if we manage to emerge on top from our two games against Panathinaikos we can be well placed to qualify. Those two games are going to be decisive and I think we are ready for them. I always try to give my all for my team-mates, who have been great with me since I arrived. I think we really can go a long way together.
Sergio Floccari, Lazio forward
This was a very important game as it provided the chance to go top of the group. I knew that if I stayed here, I would not get many chances to play and I have just got to take the chances that the coach does give me as best as I possibly can. My characteristics are such that I can always help the team. Can we go all the way? We will certainly try.
Tavares, Maribor forward
I turned my ankle and I have a lot of pain and it is swelling a bit, but I hope I will soon be able to help my team [having been withdrawn on 61 minutes]. It was very hard for me because when I went off we conceded a goal and I could not do anything to help the team. I think we played very well, the team gave everything, but in the end they have the three points. We hope for the next game that we will play better and win the game.
I hope at home in Maribor it will be a different story. Now we have to give everything because we have won one game and lost another. We have to do everything at home to win all of the games we have there and then, away from home, get some points to take us through.
Jasmin Handanovič, Maribor goalkeeper
We expected this today, we knew it was going to be tough and difficult against a strong side with a lot of quality, but we are in good form at the moment and we created chances – they had chances too, but in the end, sadly, we lost. I think we deserved at least a draw for our efforts today. We always play to win and we are stronger at home. With our fans behind us and with the atmosphere we have at home, anything can happen.
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