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Napoli president threatens to cancel player holidays

SoccerNews in Serie A 8 Apr 2015

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Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has threatened to cancel off-season holidays for players after they bowed out of the Coppa Italia.

Defending champions Napoli suffered a 1-0 home defeat to Lazio on Wednesday, a result that saw them lose the semi-final 2-1 on aggregate.

The hosts had a series of chances but were profligate in attack and were later made to pay when Senad Lulic came off the bench to net a 79th-minute winner.

But while Napoli coach Rafael Benitez bemoaned his side’s bad luck, De Laurentiis was far more forthright.

In his hard-hitting rant, he said the players were playing in a manner that was not befitting of Napoli and that change was required – potentially in a ‘training retreat’ at the end of the campaign.

“We have a commitment with the fans, who are quite right to be unhappy,” De Laurentiis told SportItalia.

“From today until the end of the season – if we don’t change course and the players are incapable of honouring the jersey on their back, then they are going into a training retreat.

“I hope all of this will serve as a turning point to spark some pride.

“We have put in some squalid performances that are unworthy of Napoli.

“From today, we change…we need a training session for the mind, more respect for the fans, the club, the coach and for themselves.”

When pressed how long his training camp would run for, De Laurentiis said it was “undetermined”.

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