Saturday December 14 2019
Gattuso: 'Napoli are suffering'

Gennaro Gattuso believes Napoli paid the price for being “unbalanced” in a 2-1 defeat to Parma. “This team is not accustomed to such a long winless streak.”

It was not the start he wanted, as within five minutes he’d gone a goal down and lost Kalidou Koulibaly to injury, then when Arkadiusz Milik did equalise, Gervinho won it for Parma in stoppages.

“We worked on the 4-3-3 during the last few days, but moved to 4-2-4 when we had to turn the game around,” said the coach in his press conference.

“I don’t think it’s right to talk about bad luck, because the first 10 minutes showed everything. This is a team suffering on a psychological level, as Napoli are not accustomed to such a long winless streak in Serie A. These players are used to challenging at the top of the table, so they are struggling to adapt.”

This was his debut after replacing sacked Carlo Ancelotti on Wednesday.

“I take all the responsibility and blame for this defeat. The fans will naturally jeer, because the results are not what they expected.”

Gattuso left Dries Mertens on the bench, but the Belgian provided the assist for Milik’s equaliser within two minutes of coming on.

“It’s true, he shook things up, but at this moment the team needs to find some balance. I am well aware that I have great players at my disposal, but I must decide whether to play them all together or try to find balance.

“I don’t like seeing both full-backs push forward at the same time, but we did that at times because we wanted to get back into the game, but it unbalanced us and at the end we paid for that.

“My main concern now is to help this team find its calm again. I don’t want to hear talk of bad luck. I think with a slightly more clinical edge, we could’ve done better.

“There is a lot of work to be done. We certainly could’ve built better from the back, but it all begins from the mind. This team has to shake off the tension and get back to playing the kind of free-flowing football it did for many years.”

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