De Laurentiis: Napoli can finish third
Napoli's nine-match unbeaten run may have come to an end yesterday at Juventus, but club president Aurelio De Laurentiis believes his players still have enough energy left in them to finish third in Serie A. The Naples outfit missed the chance to climb into the top three after losing 3-0 in Turin.
The result left Napoli fourth in the standings, one place and three points adrift of Lazio, who hold the last UEFA Champions League qualifying spot, with eight games remaining. "Third place is still up for grabs, seeing as Udinese and Lazio also lost," De Laurentiis told Gazzetta dello Sport.
"We have got to scrape together the remaining energy we have and rediscover the sharpness that all the teams that competed in Europe are struggling with now. We have strength in depth and not just a first choice XI, so we should give room to those who haven't played as much."
De Laurentiis admitted fatigue has hindered his team lately. Unlike Juventus, Napoli were involved in the Champions League this season. They reached the last 16 of the competition before being eliminated by Chelsea last month.
Moreover, Walter Mazzarri's men will face Juventus in the Coppa Italia final on 20 May. "The game at Juventus would have finished differently had we not played in the Champions League this season and Juve had European competition in their legs," De Laurentiis said. "It's a big responsibility to play on three fronts this season at this level and I think coach Walter Mazzarri is doing very well."
Napoli travel to Rome to face Lazio on Saturday.