Thursday February 18 2021
Gattuso: 'Napoli did all we could right now'

Gennaro Gattuso reveals even more injury problems after Napoli’s 2-0 Europa League defeat to Granada. ‘What’s the point of qualifying if we don’t have anyone who can play?’

The Partenopei were always facing an uphill struggle with just 12 senior outfield players available, between big Serie A games against Juventus and Atalanta, with no squad rotation possible.

They were beaten 2-0 by a pair of goals in the space of two minutes, as Kenedy first created one with his cross for Yangel Herrera’s header, then scored with an angled drive.

The second leg at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona next Thursday will need something spectacular to turn this around.

“We need to be more precise. We created chances and certainly deserved more. There’s no point talking about qualification or not now, as the priority is to get players back,” Gattuso told Sky Sport Italia.

“We just lost Matteo Politano as well, so what’s the point of qualifying for the next round if we don’t have anyone who can play? All we can do tomorrow is count who is left and then see.

“We’re missing 10-11 players now, as Politano has problems with his ribs and can’t breathe properly. We can’t sit here and cry over it, we just need to find solutions.”

Nonetheless, Gattuso refused to accept the absences as an alibi.

“There’s no fate or destiny in football, there are mistakes. We made mistakes and were dumb when conceding those goals, so paid a heavy price.”

Victor Osimhen is still struggling to make any kind of impact, while Lorenzo Insigne was visibly limping during the game.

“As I already said, Osimhen was out for a long time, he’s still playing with strapping to his shoulder and is not 100 per cent. He needs to find consistency and sharpness to play his game. At the moment, he has these gaps and isn’t capable of moving consistently, as we’ve seen it in the statistics.

“I think this team came here and did the maximum it was capable of at this moment in time.”

This season Napoli have gone behind 12 times, but only came back to get a result on three occasions. Is there a lack of character and determination?

“It’s possible. I was telling Elmas he made a couple of mistakes and got depressed. In football, you have to put that out of your mind and keep going, not sit there mulling over an error. It’s an area where the team needs to improve, certainly.

“If a team is not in good shape physically, then it cannot pin Granada back into its own half for the entire second half. It’s not that.

“I think the problem right now is above all psychological, because the players are holding out remarkably well in the circumstances, with no squad rotation.

“We keep conceding the same goals and need to be more wary, especially in Europe.”