Walter Mazzarri asks fans to stand by Napoli against Chievo and Chelsea. “The only problem is our concentration. We need to be more humble.”
The Partenopei have stuttered in Serie A this season, as they have found it difficult to balance the Champions League and Coppa Italia commitments.
Midweek they were beaten 2-1 in the Coppa semi-final first leg by minnows Siena and tomorrow night welcome Chievo to the San Paolo, but already fans and media only want to discuss Chelsea.
“The game against Chievo is the most important,” insisted Mazzarri in today’s press conference.
“When facing sides that are on paper weaker than we are, we’ve got to get back to those characteristics that enabled us to do so well last season. This is why I appeal to the fans, because in a situation where things aren’t going too well, the players are still giving their all.
“Compared to last year, we have lost something – unconsciously, I think – in terms of concentration. If we see an opposition striker heading towards the goal, we tend to think a teammate will take care of him, so we concede silly goals.
“Nothing has changed on a general level, but we do have to rediscover last season’s mentality, that desire to fight for every ball. We’re working on it and hope to improve.
“In defence we could do with being a little more humble, while in attack I hope the strikers feel less pressure. It’s not a tactical or physical issue, but simply one of concentration and mentality. We’ve also been unlucky, as things tend to go against us this season, but these moments happen and they will pass.
“Chievo will come here and make it a series of duels around the pitch, so I have to use the freshest legs. I’ll see what response they give me so that I can verify the growth of the whole squad.”