Calzona
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Calzona: “The fault is mine. What do we need to work on? Pride.”

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Napoli boss Francesco Calzona says he is to blame for the Partenopei’s recent run of poor form: ‘We need to have pride’. A 1-0 defeat to Empoli leaves Napoli in 8th place and looking unlikely to qualify for European football next season. Speaking to DAZN (via GDM.com) post-match, Calzona tried to explain the reasons for his teams drop in performances, shouldering most of the blame himself:

“What didn’t work? The approach to the game. We entered the field softly, while Empoli were fierce. We never sank our teeth in, we were timid. This is inconceivable, but the responsibility is mine. Apparently, I failed to convey to them my desire to go as far as possible. Champions League? If we don’t win games and even lose them, it’s difficult to think of reaching it. We must try to honor the shirt, give more, and above all, get into the game earlier. There’s a disturbing fact: we are the team that has scored the least in the first 15 minutes. We never have the right approach. Empoli had it and won the game.”
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“We are too languid. In the first half, we were so in possession. This problem of lacking anger to regain possession of the ball is something we’ve carried since I arrived. But again, the fault is mine. Apparently, I failed to communicate this important concept of high pressing, of the desire to get the ball back. This team has significant offensive potential, but we need to stay higher. In the second half, we did better, but we never shot on target. It means we’re predictable, and this team cannot afford that; we have a lot of quality. The fault is mine, we couldn’t turn things around.”

“Napoli’s vicissitudes this year are known. I didn’t expect to find it in such a situation. Playing every three days, we’ve hidden some issues, but surely this team needs to do more. We have to do more, we owe it to the city and the club. Since I’ve been here, the blame for all this is solely mine and the players’. The club lets us work in peace, and the fans support us at home and away. We have all the elements to do well, but we’re not succeeding. And this saddens me a lot. We must look to the next game. We need to work primarily on pride. Tactically, we work a lot, but if we don’t understand that some situations go beyond tactics… This is what we lack, this is what we need to work on. The new players arrived in a difficult season. I try to field the best lineup. There are training sessions to prove oneself. But as an excuse for all this, there’s the fact that they arrived in the worst season for Napoli in recent years. Perhaps this slowed their integration. Personally, I apologize to the Napoli fans. The criticism is fair, we must accept it. Neapolitan fans even make balanced criticisms. I can only thank them and apologize for this not-so-good end to the season.”

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