Tuesday January 24 2012
Mazzarri ‘foresaw’ struggles

Walter Mazzarri has hit out critics once again this season, whilst refusing to be drawn on competition ambitions in the Coppa Italia.

Ahead of the team’s Italian Cup quarter-final with Inter on Wednesday, Mazzarri took the opportunity to comment on his side’s recent struggles in the League and the criticism that followed consecutive 1-1 draws with Bologna and Siena.

Fielding questions on Napoli’s recent form that has left them lying in seventh place in the table, Mazzarri was unequivocal in his belief that it is not as bad as the media has made out.

“[It isn’t a negative turning point]. I had previously foreseen this [drop in form] and had said so. The outstanding should not be the rule, I knew it would be complicated to repeat it this season.

“The difficulty is not to win once, but to do so year after year. To this I say that, until now, we have done better than you might thing given the commitments and, permit me, a little less luck too.”

The Coach was sharp with his response to questions raised about the team’s tactical set-up and if it had become a negative contributing factor to recent struggles.

 “It makes me smile! He who does not understand our tactics does not watch the games very well! Our growth is not complete and of course there is always room for improvement, but everyone knows exactly what to do.

“In addition, we are able to change during a game. Instead, we now face opponents with three-man defences. Evidently they fear us.”

The Partenopei tactician was asked of his team’s chances in the Coppa Italia this season, ahead of the midweek meeting with Inter.

However, in facing the team that knocked them out on penalties at this same stage of the competition last season, Mazzarri refused to be drawn on promising progression this year.

“We make no proclamations. But I can assure the fans that we will always give our maximum against anyone. Even against a super battleship like Inter.”