Rafa Benitez confessed Napoli won’t get beyond third and are “missing something” after a 1-0 defeat to Parma.
The Partenopei’s chances of catching Roma in second place are now extremely slim, as they are 12 points away.
On the other hand, Fiorentina are nine behind them and third is worth a preliminary round spot in the Champions League.
“We are all disappointed to lose a game that was under control in the first half and at the end of the day Parma only had one shot on goal. We had a great chance and we missed it,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.
“President Aurelio De Laurentiis? He was also disappointed, as we all were.”
This 1-0 defeat and sluggish performance came a week after Napoli’s thrilling 2-0 victory over leaders Juventus. Why are they so inconsistent, especially against smaller clubs?
“It’s true we need to have more intensity when going forward and in defending. We have a team with quality, it has its strengths and weaknesses, which we need to analyse and learn to improve. Lack of consistency in a game is one of those things.
“Every player has his characteristics and it’s not easy to change everything. We changed many things, are in third place, but there’s a long way to go yet until we can create a team that has the right mentality to win every game. That is what I want and what I’m working towards.
“I still consider this a very, very positive campaign. However, you can tell we are missing something. We won’t finish second, as Roma win those games that we do not. This is the reality and we have to work every day to improve, but in the meantime we can lock down third and prepare for the Coppa Italia Final.”
Benitez surprised fans when substituting Gonzalo Higuain for Duvan Zapata at 1-0 down, especially as Pipita seemed irritated at the change.
“I think a Coach has to make a tactical decision, Duvan proved on the field he had the desire to win and was what we needed at that moment.”
Zapata was booked for simulation when clashing with Antonio Mirante, but Benitez refused to comment on whether he thought it was a penalty.
“I have nothing to say.”