Wednesday February 24 2021
Gattuso takes responsibility for Napoli's poor form

Gennaro Gattuso takes responsibility for Napoli's poor form and reveals Dries Mertens can return to action against Granada.

The Partenopei suffered back-to-back defeats against Granada and Atalanta earlier last week and are due to face the La Liga side in the second leg of the Europa League round of 32 tomorrow.

"Criticism is deserved. At this moment, things are not going well. The responsibility is mine because I'm the coach," Gattuso said at a press conference.

"There is little to say. We are going through a negative moment and we perform below our capabilities. We wear a historic shirt and we represent a fantastic city.

"We have to take responsibility and I am primarily responsible. Now we have to make results and there is no point in chatting. What we are doing is not enough. We need fewer words and more actions, that's for sure."

Napoli injury crisis is making things even worst.

"Koulibaly and Ghoulam were already available against Atalanta, and tomorrow they will be there. Osimhen is not available. Demme and Hysaj are not ready to play yet," he continued.

"Mertens will start on the bench tomorrow. He can play for 20-25 minutes. He spent a long time on the sidelines. We'll see how much space we can give him tomorrow."

With the Belgian still recovering, Victor Osimhen and Andrea Petagna injured, Gattuso finds himself without a centre forward. Can Matteo Politano play there?

"We'll see tomorrow, Elmas can play there too, but I don't want to give any advantage," the coach replied.

"Today, I saw in the eyes of my boys that they believe we can qualify. We must believe, in football, you never know. Granada are a good team, but we can put them in trouble.

"I expect to have a better approach than the one we had in the first leg. We know very well what characteristics they have, but we gave them depth, and the team must read these situations well. Granada never give up and are hard to beat.

"In Bergamo we could have avoided those four goals. Against Juve we sat deep and it went well.

"We must put something more in terms of mentality and desire to win.

"It makes me laugh when I hear that we have no targets in the Europa League. We must evaluate the conditions in which we find ourselves playing every three days.

"We are missing many players. Who's playing is giving it all, but anyone can make a difference when you can rely on a full squad. We train little, and for the way we play, starting the action from the back, it is difficult to prepare the games."