Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis blames the strain of the Champions League for their 3-0 defeat at Juventus.
Although the Partenopei are now out of the competition, they have struggled to use squad rotation this season.
“Third place is still up for grabs, seeing as Udinese and Lazio also lost. Now we have to keep an eye behind us for Roma’s comeback,” said the patron.
“I was worried from the very start this evening, as the team was visibly tired and we lost Christian Maggio after 25 minutes.
“Juventus have the determination of a team fighting to the end for the Scudetto, plus they are compact and efficient in midfield and not tired from Champions League efforts.
“We’ve got to scrape what remaining energy we have and rediscover the sharpness that all the teams who competed in Europe are struggling with now. We have strength in depth and not just a first choice XI, so we should give room to those who haven’t played as much, are younger and have fresh legs.”
Some would suggest this fatigue means Napoli need a bigger squad with summer reinforcements.
“I do not agree, because if it were up to me I would promote our teenagers from the youth team,” continued De Laurentiis.
“There is a problem of mentality in Italy that does not allow youngsters to go straight into Serie A. We have to play those who have the talent, regardless of whether they are 18 or 27. I’d like a whole team under 27.
“Walter Mazzarri is doing very well, because with the responsibility of playing on three fronts at the top level, he naturally trusts some players more than the new ones. I cannot blame the Coach for this situation.
“I’d have liked to see tonight’s game if we had not played the Champions League this season and Juve had European competition in their legs.”