The Sardinians had several opportunities to equalise after the Moise Kean header, with Dalbert turning wide from six yards and a Wojciech Szczesny fingertip save on Joao Pedro, but were undone by Federico Bernardeschi’s counter-attack.
“We had four consecutive draws that could easily have been wins, so there were positive signs before those two painful 4-0 defeats. Tonight, I saw the team that we had before those losses,” Mazzarri told DAZN.
“Unfortunately, we allowed the 2-0 goal with a naïve error. It’s a young team, we haven’t had luck this season and that goal at that moment changed the momentum.
“We were feeling enthusiastic and if we had equalised, I think we could’ve gone on to win. Unfortunately, the second goal took the wind out of our sails.”
Diego Godin and Martin Caceres were frozen out and have already left the Cagliari training ground, as they were told to find a new club in January. What happened in the locker room to prompt this action?
“The players must give their response on the pitch. We work from morning until night at training, do everything we can for them. The coach does his job, the player must do his,” explained Mazzarri.
“Every time we prepare games, we analyse them, see what went wrong, we must all take our responsibility for errors.
“When you end up like the last game, you have to make decisions. Nobody likes the way things were going and we had to change. That’s all I have to say.”
Cagliari have made it clear they will transform the squad during the transfer window, rebuilding the team to suit Mazzarri’s approach.
“I’ve been coaching for a long time, after three months at Cagliari I got a good idea of what was going on. When you take over a squad mid-season, you can only do so much and need players with the characteristics to suit your style of football.
“When you prepare all week and know what you need to do, you don’t require this motivational figure, you just have to focus on doing what you were told to do. I want them to be convinced, to truly believe in what they are doing.
“All the squads I worked with, they have to press high, win the ball back and turn things around. You need athletes to do that, commitment and physicality, but above all the belief to take that attitude.
“The club will do something on the market, I have given the indications of what I need, and we hope for the best.”