Sunday December 16 2012
Mazzarri rules out Scudetto chances

Walter Mazzarri practically gave up on Napoli’s Scudetto hopes after a 3-2 defeat to Bologna and blasted his men for resting on their laurels.

“Napoli created many scoring opportunities and Bologna scored on one of only two chances they had in the first half,” said the Coach.

“Our defect is that once we take the lead, we think the job is done. It has happened many times and we don’t finish sides off.

“We get distracted and unconsciously the players think the victory is safe. That is where we really must improve and make that step up in quality, otherwise we’ll keep dropping points continually.

“These players gave their all tonight. When you waste that many chances at this level, you will pay. I don’t know how many opportunities we had to finish it off.

“I have tried to tell my players they play too ‘nice’ and need to be more determined. I hope we can learn from these lessons.”

Juventus are now the Winter Champions with a seven-point lead at the top of the table, as contenders Napoli and Inter both lost this weekend.

“The whole ‘Anti-Juventus’ thing is a slogan the media thought up and I’m sick of it. Juventus are doing something extraordinary and I’ve said since the summer that we have to grow.

“We’re all on a par now for second place and will see how the season ends, as I don’t see anyone else right now who can compete with Juve. Maybe things will change, but it’s tough when they’re playing like that. We should focus on other objectives.”

Napoli also risk a two-point penalty and six-month bans for Paolo Cannavaro and Gianluca Grava in the betting scandal, as a verdict is expected tomorrow.

“We are hopeful for tomorrow. The fact is the entire case is just one person’s word against that of two others. Is that enough to ban players? Besides which, I don’t think these lengthy bans for not alerting authorities is entirely fair.”

Ex-Napoli third choice goalkeeper Matteo Gianello claims he offered a fix to Cannavaro and Gianello, but they turned him down point-blank. However, they insist he never even proposed it to them.