Parma coach Roberto Donadoni hailed his side’s ‘battling spirit’ as they broke a four-game winless run with a 1-0 victory over Napoli.
Donadoni said prior to the match that his side were ‘in a state of emergency’ but also conceded their recent woes could bring out the best in his men.
And his claim was spot on, as Marco Parolo’s goal was all the hosts needed to earn a valuable three points, which leaves them level with fifth-placed Inter on 50.
Inter occupy the final UEFA Europa League spot as it stands, with six matches to play.
Donadoni said he was proud his side got on with the job, despite taking a three-match losing streak into their fixture with third-placed Napoli.
“The goal was top class and everyone did well, from (Gabriel) Paletta to the delightful (Mattia) Cassani pass and the high level shot from Parolo,” the coach told Sky Sport Italia.
“My team showed great battling spirit when missing important players and I give them the full credit for this victory.
“We were coming off three consecutive defeats, even if two were undeserved, but we never cried over spilt milk.
“We knew this squad was achieving great things and we are satisfied for our fans, the city and our president.”
Parma have not been involved in European competition, since reaching the last 32 of the 2006-07 Europa League campaign.
But Donadoni said his side would be worthy entrants into the continental competition, should they crack the top-five in Serie A this season.
“There are still six matches to play and they are worth 18 points, so clearly every game becomes fundamental,” he said.
“We are coming off a tour de force with injuries that meant we couldn’t rotate the squad, so now we will try to get players like (Antonio) Cassano, Amauri and (Walter) Gargano back in shape. Then we can have our say.
“I don’t want to say Parma deserve Europe but I will challenge anyone to watch one of our games and say we didn’t deserve our points.
“This team plays its football and can take anyone on with enthusiasm.”
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