Walter Mazzarri couldn't bring himself to be happy. “Napoli must stop being so timorous against big clubs.”
The Partenopei fought back from 1-0 down to beat Milan 3-1 and soar to the top of the Serie A table with a 100 per cent record, but the Coach wasn't satisfied.
“We had a bad start tonight and if we step on to the pitch against the big clubs like this, then it'll end badly. We've got to improve in terms of our respect and psychological approach,” said Mazzarri.
“There were several really good chances that we wasted by not picking the right pass and did not keep enough possession.
“If I'm honest, I did not like the performance. We were too timorous and nervous at the start, so perhaps we're not accustomed to playing every three days. We had the same problem with Manchester City and it's a big risk to run.
“We have got to grow in terms of character if we want to play at certain levels. The media tend to evaluate the result, whereas I evaluate the performance. I've seen my team play better than this and get criticised.
“Of course, one must consider the opponent, as we were facing the strongest team in Italy, but if we can keep hold of the ball more then we can cause them even more trouble. In modern football everyone has to run and help out their teammates. If we want to attack with three strikers and two wingers, then we have to work hard.
“I want to see my team be more authoritative in pushing their opponents higher up the field and taking the initiative.
“Last season we started out tense against Milan, too. This is why I say we have to improve, as we must come out at the opening whistle with that determination and authoritative approach if we want to become a big club.”
With such a strong start and already a five-point advantage over Milan, Inter and Roma, Napoli are to be considered genuine title contenders.
“If you ask us about the Scudetto, then it means we're near the top of the table, so here's hoping the questions keep coming,” smiled Mazzarri.