Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti says whilst qualification for the Champions League last 16 is crucial, “It doesn’t cancel out what’s happened in Serie A.”
Napoli face Belgian side Genk tomorrow night at the San Paolo, aware that a victory or draw – depending on other results – will guarantee them top spot in Group E.
Speaking at a press conference, Ancelotti warned qualification for the knockout stages would not make amends for their slump in Serie A.
“Qualification does not cancel what has happened so far [in Serie A]. Good things have been achieved in the Champions League.
“Because of this, things have to be evaluated more in the League than in Europe.
“Qualifying for the Round of 16 can give us some extra incentives to regain the form we showed at the beginning of the season.
“I must continue to do my job and evaluate not what I did but rather what I am doing today.
“I never want the players just to play for me. If they did, I would have a lot of doubts.”
This season the Partenopei look assured and confident in Europe, which is a stark contrast to how they are playing in the League, and the former Milan boss is trying to figure out why.
“We have done very well in a difficult group. Being one step away from qualifying means that in this competition, we haven’t given up.
“Right now, the team are worried about what they can’t do. We are not mentally free.
“In the League, we don’t play like we do in the Champions League.”
Following the draw with Udinese, there have been rumours suggesting Ancelotti will be sacked after the game against Genk, replaced by Rino Gattuso.
“If I didn’t consider myself to be the best person to resolve the situation at this club, I wouldn’t be here.”
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