Walter Mazzarri admits Napoli are “exhausted, but still in the running for the Europa League and Coppa Italia.”
The Partenopei were pummelled 3-1 at home by Atalanta, a third consecutive defeat that destroys any remaining hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.
“We are struggling and physically alone only lasted for the first half,” confessed the Coach.
“We paid the price for a strong performance against Lazio on Saturday and today were simply exhausted. We deserved to lose, because we are truly tired and on top have many injuries and suspensions to deal with.
“Every time we are second to the ball and Atalanta were very reactive today. We are not up to the level of the big clubs in terms of experience and strength in depth. To win we have to be at 100 per cent and run harder than the others.”
Mazzarri was asked if an era was over at Napoli, but he resisted this suggestion.
“I don’t know what that can mean. I always say the same things and nobody listens to me. It is an ugly defeat, but these lads have given their all for three years and it can happen to go through a period of fatigue after reaching the Coppa Italia Final and a great Champions League run. The process of growth comes through this too.
“We are in the Europa League for next season. If we invest in youth then we have to give them time, as we can’t get everything straight away like Milan and Juventus. We are on track for what we set out to do in the summer. In fact, we could’ve been even lower down the standings considering how this season has gone.”