Hernanes: Petkovic helped me to recover my motivation
Brazil's Hernanes has paid tribute to Lazio coach Vladimir Petkovic and thanked him for helping him to regain his motivation to play football again.
Hernanes, 27, told Italian media: "Last year there were times when I was demotivated. And I think if you want to do something well you have to have motivation.
"It is important to have that stimulus, and at the end of the season I had lost that. I have recovered though, thanks to Petkovic who has been really important, because his desire to win has helped, not just me but the whole team."
The midfielder also insisted that they are still underdogs ahead of their clash against struggling AC Milan at the weekend: "Are we favourites against Milan? There should be no illusions about this. Milan are Milan, and this has not changed. They are a team full of great players."
Hernanes has also dismissed rumours of a move away from Italy, with reports suggesting a move to New York Red Bulls could be on the cards: "There are many rumours. We have never talked, because I am happy here.
"I have always said this because it is true. I am very happy to be here with Lazio."