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Mazzarri laments poor attitude

Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri was disappointed with his side’s first half in their 1-1 draw against Lazio in the Serie A on Saturday.

Hugo Campagnaro rescued a point for second-placed Napoli, equalising in the 87th minute after Sergio Floccari’s early opener at the Stadio Olimpico.

While he was pleased with his side’s performance after the interval, Mazzarri said the attitude of his players in the first half was poor.

“We gave the ball away a lot tonight and we lost a lot of the 50-50 battles for the ball,” Mazzarri said.

“We didn’t enter the pitch with the right attitude, which to our credit has not happened often this season.

“During the interval between the first and second half we cleared our minds and entered the pitch with a different attitude.

“We put in a much-improved performance in the second half and deserved this result.”

With Juventus beating Fiorentina 2-0 on Saturday, Antonio Conte’s men are five points clear at the top with their two nearest rivals having played out a draw.

Despite losing ground to Juventus, Mazzarri said earning a point at Lazio was a good result.

“Tonight’s point is very important for a number of different reasons. Firstly, it keeps us in second place and on course for Europe next year,” he said.

“Secondly, to win against this great Lazio team at the Olimpico is not an easy task for anyone. If I’m not wrong they were defeated only twice here and never against a direct rival. It’s a good point for us.”

Lazio coach Vladimir Petkovic felt his team deserved all three points, saying he was disappointed they were unable to score a second goal.

“I would use the adjective explosive only for our side. I didn’t see Napoli shoot at goal at all. We were the ones playing all of the attacking football,” he said.

“I saw a great Lazio performance for the whole 90 minutes. We played great in the first half, created Napoli some difficulties and we scored.

“We had some problems in the second half, but I expected that. They brought on a lot of strikers and tried everything they could, but even if we suffered a bit, we had three chances to score.

“It’s only a shame we didn’t manage to score again. That’s the only negative thing I can find in tonight’s game – the fact we didn’t manage to score the second and third goal to close the game.

“I’m happy, very happy with my guys’ performance tonight. We really pressed Napoli and I’m convinced we deserved more than one point.”

Sun 10 February, 2013
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