Carlo Ancelotti admits he is “disappointed with the second half of the season, as Napoli can do better” and again lacked “motivation” in the defeat to Atalanta.
“We did very well for an hour, with a high tempo and pressing game, but after their equaliser and we’d wasted so many chances, we fell away both physically and psychologically,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.
Dries Mertens had given Napoli the lead, but Duvan Zapata and Mario Pasalic turned it around for a 2-1 result at the San Paolo.
Lorenzo Insigne was on the bench and didn’t even come on as a substitute, just days after he was jeered by some Napoli fans.
“He played three games in a week, so I preferred to rest him for the next match. Insigne is a valuable member of the squad and we are waiting for him to rediscover his usual levels.”
Ancelotti was asked about the tactical changes early in this game, particularly with the forwards.
“Considering Atalanta are very good in one-on-one situations, we tried to move Callejon more central and Mertens into a wider role, so we’d spread their defenders and midfielders.”
Napoli’s campaign has really fizzled out, as Juventus won the Scudetto with five rounds to spare and they slumped out of the Europa League to Arsenal.
“We’ve lost something in the second half of the season. I don’t know if it’s because we lost players, but more that we lost motivation and spirit.
“All we can do now is focus on securing second place and preparing for next season. The first half of our season was excellent and I am disappointed at the second half, because this is a team that can and should do better. Once motivation goes, you go a bit slower to close down a cross or meet an assist. Football is an issue of moments and those seconds can make a huge difference.
“There will be a few adjustments on the transfer market, but there are new players in my first season, there will be more newcomers, although the basic structure of the squad will remain the same.”