Walter Mazzarri admits he “expected something more” from Napoli’s visit to Viktoria Plzen, but it could be a blessing in disguise to have been eliminated.
The Partenopei had already been beaten 3-0 at home in the first leg, then fell 2-0 in the Czech Republic to crash out of the Europa League at the Round of 32.
“In all honesty, I expected something more tonight, even if it wasn’t easy to play after the first leg result,” confessed Mazzarri to Sky Sport Italia.
“We needed to find an early goal and break through, even with a bit of luck, to put some pressure on them. Instead with the comfort of the first leg lead they could swarm and control us. As time went on, we crumbled.”
The Coach surprised many by switching to a 4-3-3 system from the start rather than the usual 3-5-2, but concedes it wasn’t a successful experiment.
“This just confirms we must go forward with our organisation, as over the last three years we have done great things and won’t really move from that system unless it’s an adjustment during the game.”
Of all the Serie A sides who played in Europe last week, only Napoli were able to avoid defeat, so is an early exit from the Europa League a positive in the Scudetto race?
“It’s certainly not a disadvantage to be out, as with a typical week of training we earned five wins and two draws, which were away to Fiorentina and Lazio.
“We cannot stay at certain levels unless we are on top form both physically and mentally.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £11,000 to be won monthly!