Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri has played down his side’s Serie A title chances by claiming that leaders Juventus are in a ‘different class’.
The Bianconeri cemented pole position with a 3-0 win at Empoli on Sunday, opening up a four-point gap on Napoli who slumped to a 1-0 defeat at Atalanta.
But Sarri insisted drawing comparisons between his charges and the reigning league champions was pointless.
“Juventus are a team in another class,” he said.
“We never had the idea that our league campaign should be viewed alongside that of Juventus.
“We are a young team that has to grow and this week will help us to understand the mistakes we made and improve.
“If they (Juventus) were to put together a series of negative results, then maybe we might have title ambitions, but they never do.”
Sarri refused to be overly critical of his side in the wake of their defeat, instead blaming a short turnaround from their midweek Champions League clash with Benfica for their indifferent display.
“We have to improve against aggressive opponents who want to turn the game into a duel,” he said.
“Matches against physical teams test our limits and as part the team’s continuing growth, we have to be able to go to these tough places and bring the points home.
“We paid the penalty for the physical expenditure of the Champions League. We did not have time to rest and recuperate after Wednesday’s game. ”