Walter Mazzarri warns Napoli fans not to be disappointed at the latest setback, because “perhaps last season can never be repeated.”
The Partenopei challenged for the Scudetto last term and finished in third place, but at the half-way stage they are now languishing 12 points off the top of the table.
“We did exceptional things and perhaps last season can never be repeated,” he said after a 1-1 draw at Siena.
“This year we feel more pressure after that splendid campaign and probably some of our players can’t handle it as well.
“If Napoli are in seventh place in terms of budget and wage bill, then we cannot expect to be in the top two all the time. Last season was a stand-out moment. The only exception this season is Udinese.”
Napoli had to snatch a last-gasp point at Siena after Edinson Cavani’s controversial penalty was saved.
“It was a clear scoring opportunity and recently we are missing those too easily. You can see we have to shoulder some of the blame, as these little incidents can often decide if a season goes well or badly.
“We tried to score every possible way, but couldn’t finish off our chances, whereas Siena took advantage of our defensive errors.
“Lately we go behind far too often and that makes it difficult to get a result, especially away from home against sides like Siena and Novara.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's World Cup tipster competition - £10,000 to be won!