Ventura denies rift with fans

Torino manager Giampiero Ventura has played down suggestions he

is at loggerheads with the club’s fans.

The club’s home form has been unimpressive this season and the

Granata are winless in their last five matches at the Stadio


Comments made by Ventura recently have been interpreted as a

sign of his displeasure with the Torino faithful but, speaking

ahead of Wednesday’s trip to face Lazio in Serie A, he played down

such speculation.

“I think there was a miscommunication on my part. The fans have

been the most important factor since I came to Turin, I cannot

criticize them.

“If my words were misinterpreted, I’m sorry. The club, in my

opinion, can not be separated from the fans and we must work to

make sure that they are proud of us.

“I say there is no rift with the fans, in the strongest


Ventura, whose team sit 13th in the league after taking one

point from their last three games, will be without at least two

first-team regulars.

“(Angelo) Ogbonna will not start because he is not yet in a

position to do 90 minutes,” said Ventura.

“I think he will rejoin us on Thursday, in principle.

“Sure, I’m not happy to be missing him but I cannot do anything.

(Giuseppe) Vives is also not available because of a bruised


Injury and suspension have left Lazio without goalkeeper

Federico Marchetti and midfielders Hernanes, Ederson and Claudio


Albano Bizzarri is set to take the gloves, with Sergio Floccari

likely to get the nod to partner Miroslav Klose up front in a

revised 4-4-2 formation.

Manager Vladimir Petkovic was not willing to divulge his plans


“I have a few options in mind,” he said.

“Tomorrow we will decide. We are still in a very good position

in the table and there are so many games to play. “