Napoli, Mazzarri: We’ll advance to find balance

In a recent press conference, Walter Mazzarri, Napoli’s head coach, shared his thoughts before the team’s upcoming Champions League match against Braga.

According to Mazzarri, a key aim for tomorrow is to progress through the tournament. During his press conference, he stated, “We’ve proven that we can play football in these first few matches, but we need to rediscover the balance we had last season.” He expressed his desire for a heightened defensive phase, highlighting the need to establish solidity. “What is of interest to me for tomorrow,” he said, “is to progress while demonstrating that we have regained solidity and are not offering anything on a silver platter.”

Regarding the three-man defence strategy, Mazzarri admitted that odd enough, he returned to a 4-man strategy as he believed he had the ideal players for the formation. He explained the difficulties of defensive balance and teamwork, especially for those who have recently arrived from countries like Brazil. Mazzarri highlighted that building defensive solidity as a squad is critical and should prevent any quick counter-attacks from the opposing team.

On a lighter note, when asked if he could pronounce the name of Kvaratskhkelia, he quipped, “I’m also a disaster with Italian names.”

Mazzarri also noted the need to improve defensive tactics, especially when the team is on the offensive. The coach underscored the significance of impeccable defence, stating that it’s a crucial factor for teams that have won the championship or finished on top.

He also remarked on the team’s shot accuracy. Mazzarri explained his intention to train shot-making when time permits because he feels that the team’s shooting has been subpar of late.

The psychological element of the game does not concern the coach. Mazzarri iterated that the team doesn’t fear the game, although he acknowledged some missing tranquillity. He said, “We are having a difficult time, and the team is feeling the impact. However, once you start winning games, you continue to play with confidence.”

In terms of squad management, Mazzarri believes that players now approach games differently than they used to. Despite three consecutive 90-minute games, players can still perform well, which was not always the case in the past. He said, “I see some players play 6-7 games and not be negatively affected, the mentality has changed, and the stress we had back then is not present now.”

Looking ahead, Mazzarri emphasised the importance of focusing on winning and granting opponents minimal opportunities. He wrapped up his press conference with an assurance, “As always, we will try to win, preferably without conceding goals, and this would make me happier than anything else.”

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