Walter Mazzarri insists the showdown with Udinese “will not be decisive” for Napoli’s Champions League qualifying hopes.
The Partenopei want to get back into the competition next season after their heart-breaking elimination in extra time at the hands of Chelsea.
“Unfortunately we went out of the tournament that we honoured as best we could. Now there are 11 Serie A matches remaining and we will try to give our all, as well as overturning the Coppa Italia semi-final result against Siena,” said the Coach.
“It went badly at Stamford Bridge, but I give my Napoli full marks for effort this season. We have achieved something extraordinary, as playing against superpowers like Chelsea and Bayern Munich is something to be proud of. Plus we eliminated Villarreal, who last season knocked us out of the Europa League.
“We thought that we could make it, but ended up like a car that went off road at the last bend. I told my players they must turn their anger into useful grit for the whole team, so we can prepare better for the next match.
“There is great bitterness, but unfortunately that’s the way it went. We must overcome this disappointment in Udine and face the challenge like a real team.”
Mazzarri reiterated he has no intention of leaving the San Paolo despite rumours of interest from Inter.
“I have always said I have a contract until 2013 and I intend to respect it.”
Napoli can get back into the Champions League and go head-to-head with fourth-placed Udinese in that race on Sunday.
“There are 33 points still up for grabs, so anything can happen. Even Catania could qualify for the Champions League. My thoughts are focused only on Udinese right now, as we know what difficulties await us. Don’t forget we gave our all for 120 minutes in London and that could take its toll.
“I don’t believe the match with Udinese is decisive, but I will try to field the best XI at my disposal. Francesco Guidolin is one of the best Coaches in Europe, but when in possession we must try to impose our tempo.”