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Spalletti: Returning fans can have a huge say

Coach Luciano Spalletti's hope the players can work together with the fans to help spark a memorable come-back in Tuesday's Coppa Italia semi-final against Lazio.

Roma go into the second leg of the tie with a 2-0 disadvantage - but will have the Curva Sud cheering them on for the first time in almost two years, after the controversial barriers at the Stadio Olimpico were finally removed this week.

And Spalletti hopes the return of those supporters, coupled with a bright start from his players, can set the stage for a huge performance.

"The Curva Sud can have a big influence, but obviously we need to lay the foundations for them to be decisive," Spalletti said. "We have to show them how we we're going to play and make them understand that they're part of a great comeback attempt.

"I believe that their desire will give us a massive boost. We have to take the first step so that our fans can then draw the ball into the net."

He added: "I'm sure that as well as myself, a few of our players will turn round to look at the Curva Sud. Many of them don't know what it's like to feel the support of the fans in a game like this."

Although the return of fans will provide a huge boost, Spalletti admits the Giallorossi remain outsiders for the game.

"They have a better chance - they were the better team and they have the lead," he acknowledged. "But I'll always be behind my team. We're desperate to go through and we're convinced that we have a chance of qualifying. We're ready to give everything we have for all 95 minutes - or even more than that.

"We have the strength and the mental fortitude to take the match to them while staying balanced and avoiding the traps that a derby can hide."
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