Napoli manager Walter Mazzarri is not disappointed by his side falling out of the race for the Serie A title race.
Mazzarri watched his side slump to a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Udinese on Sunday, which means they now sit six points behind leaders Milan.
But Mazzarri says winning the Serie A was never discussed at the club, suggesting he would be pleased with a spot in the top three, which would give them automatic qualification into the Champions League group stages.
“Nobody ever talked about the Scudetto (Serie A title),” Mazzarri said.
“It is something that must grow out of a gradual maturity process.”
“Napoli have already put together five points more than in the first half of the season. We played well tonight and created many more scoring opportunities than Udinese, but they got more goals.”
“Maybe it was destiny we were to lose this game, if you look at Christian Maggio hitting the bar and Edinson Cavani’s saved penalty.”
“This does not change the great season that Napoli are having. The tension at the end was because the team always believes and tries to win. That shows how much they care for this club.”
Udinese manager Francesco Guidolin believes the win will get people talking about his side and insists they are alive in the race to win a Champions League spot, either automatic or qualification.
Without Antonio Di Natale (26 Serie A goals in 31 matches this season) and Alexis Sanchez (12 in 28) due to injury, Udinese entered Sunday’s match as outsiders but pulled off the shock win that saw them go within a point of fourth-placed Lazio.
“We have had better performances than this, but it was an important response from the squad after the two straight defeats,” Guidolin said.
“Naturally Napoli put us under pressure, but we sent out a signal that we’re back in the running.”
“From now until at least the Easter break, people have to talk about Udinese in the Champions League race.”
“It was all because of that damned break for international duty, as many of our players came back carrying injuries.”
“I just want my lads to stay healthy. When we train all together without problems, then we’ll make people talk about Udinese.”
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!