Walter Mazzarri believes his players have all the determination necessary to secure Champions League qualification again, but perhaps not the energy.
Going into the weekend’s round of fixtures, the Partenopei sit in sixth place, six points adrift of Lazio in the final position for entry to the Champions League.
Without a win since early March and on a particular run of three consecutive defeats, the team look to have run out of steam at the business end of the season.
“Some have said that we lost, but without playing badly. Others have said we deservedly lost,” reflected Mazzarri at his Press conference on Friday.
“The players want to play well, they have given everything, but I do not know how much energy they have left.
“The players have taken on my character, my determination, they don’t ever want to give up, but sometimes they don’t have much left inside. So, I ask for support from the fans.
“You have to evaluate many things. This year we have handled more, we have played a more proactive style of football.
“The match this week between Barcelona and Chelsea helps to understand many things. Barca created lots and dominated, but they were punished at the other end.
“How many times have we played better and then been punished at the other end, whilst I’ve come out in the post-match to say how proud I am of the team?”
Napoli welcome Novara to the San Paolo this weekend in a fixture that on paper would suggest three points to the home side.
“The League standings suggest the game will go in our favour, but Fiorentina recorded a result at Milan.
“They have nothing to lose and come to play for the game and we must not be surprised.
“This is a game that is especially dangerous for us due to our physical shape, more so than for the value of the opponent, even if they should not be underestimated anyway.”
“It is not only me who decides, but the whole club. The choice was apt, we took [Goran] Pandev.
“Trezeguet was a great champion, but I didn’t want a shadow for [Edinson] Cavani who we had just signed permanently. I am happy with the choice made, even if I also say that it was not just mine.”
The Coach also reflected on another club decision, with news announced this week of Marek Hamsik signing a contract extension.
“He is an important player and had to be reconfirmed. He is the symbol of our progress.
“I’m happy with the choice made by the club. This year will serve to further grow. It is one thing to play well, another to determine games.
“[His signing] is clearly a guarantee for me, I want motivated players more than ever.”