Gennaro Gattuso saw an “emotionally fragile and frightened” Napoli in their 3-2 defeat to Lecce. “At the first sign of pressure, we lose confidence.”
The Partenopei had won three on the bounce between Serie A and the Coppa Italia, but capitulated 3-2 at the San Paolo to minnows Lecce.
“Chances can be wasted, but the problem is that the team is too emotionally fragile,” Gattuso told Sky Sport Italia.
“We constantly had three defenders on Gianluca Lapadula today and every time he would hold up the ball to bring Lecce forward. At this moment, even if we don’t score goals, it should at least end 0-0, but instead we are too passive in our defending.
“I tried to win the game and introduce more attacking players, to do something different, but we lack vehemence and organisation, so don’t damage the opposition at all. That is our biggest problem right now.
“We’ll have to sit down and watch this game together as a group, learn how to sniff out danger. In the first 30 minutes, we had five or six clear scoring opportunities, but at the first sign of pressure, we lose confidence. The team gets visibly frightened.
“I’d understand if we conceded when pushing up the full-backs and attacking, but instead we conceded with three against two. You cannot concede with three against two.
“The biggest disappointment is that the fans had come back to the San Paolo and deserved a better performance. We must learn to play for 90 minutes, not just 30.”
There was also a great deal of controversy when Arkadiusz Milik was booked for simulation, even though Fabio Lucioni seemed to catch his ankle.
“I don’t wish to offend anyone, but it’s best the club comments on this,” noted Gattuso. “What I think is that if there is VAR technology, it should be used. I don’t understand why they don’t want to spend a minute just to go and check.”