Tuesday November 22 2011
Mazzarri: 'An incredible achievement'

Walter Mazzarri believes Napoli “achieved something incredible” by defeating multi-million pound Manchester City.

The 2-1 victory means qualification for the Champions League knockouts is in their hands going into the final game with Villarreal.

“We were facing a very strong side in excellent form,” said Mazzarri after ending City’s run of nine consecutive victories.

“We truly achieved something incredible and I want to enjoy this night. In the first 15 minutes of the second half in particular, we played great football. It wasn’t easy to think we could win this, but what we achieved was almost impossible.

“It was already remarkable that we earned a point in Manchester, but in some ways this was even tougher, as we absolutely had to win.

“There was a moment in which we were almost afraid to win. It’s an issue of experience. Our ascent has been rapid, but it is not yet complete.

“We could’ve given more at the end. Sometimes we get taken over by haste, but in the long run we will be able to keep that at bay. I’d like us to learn to win even while playing badly, but only the consolidated clubs can do that and we’re not at that level yet.”

Mazzarri also warned the supporters that success in the Champions League comes at a price.

“We will lose a few points in Serie A, which has already happened before. In football you play every two days, almost always with the same players, and you can’t sustain that. If you rotate the squad too often, then it’s not easy to get the team in sync. Only a few teams in the world can afford to rotate regularly and not lose in quality.”

The Coach revealed the tactical tweaks he made to surprise Manchester City at the start of the second half.

“I adjusted Christian Maggio and Marek Hamsik’s positions a little over the break. We started in the best possible way for the second half and played our best football.”