Edy Reja says he is confident his Lazio team have the experience and quality necessary to avoid a potential banana skin away to lowly Siena tomorrow.
Lazio could have ended last year within two points of the Serie A summit but failed to beat Chievo at home in their final game of 2011 before a two-and-a-half-week winter break.
However, Reja is confident they can put that right against the Tuscans and keep pace with the three sides above them as they chase a UEFA Champions League finish.
"There are always question marks after a long break. I think the eight to ten days of holiday will have done a lot of good, not so much from a physical point of view but from a mental and nervous one," said Reja.
"Siena are a very aggressive team who play on a small pitch. They close things up well and counter-attack with quick players on the flanks.
"We'll have to struggle a bit but we have the experience and quality to go toe-to-toe with them, stop them from scoring early and exploit the space we have."
Hernanes on the bench
Reja said he will not risk Brazilian playmaker Hernanes from the start. "He left [before Christmas] with a groin problem and since coming back, he's trained apart from the others.
"I've already spoken to him. He says he's ready, but I think I'll put him on the bench so as not to risk compounding the groin problem and if necessary I can bring him on."
Lazio are four points off the top and two behind Udinese in the final Champions League berth but have Inter Milan closing in behind them, now just four points back.