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Napoli boss makes brutal admission following poor run of form

Napoli coach Luciano Spalletti admitted his side are struggling after a first half own goal resulted in a 1-0 home defeat against Spezia.

The Partenopei won ten and drew one of their first 11 Serie A matches this season. They have since moved from top spot to third place after four losses in eight matches. Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat at home to Spezia highlighted the absence of top striker Victor Osimhen once again.

Spalletti said in his post-match interview with DAZN: “We lost a bad game, because we controlled it for long periods, but didn’t do enough to finish our scoring opportunities.

“We didn’t create enough spaces in the final third or make the moves that would split the Spezia defence. Then we got irritable in the second half and were lacking that final ball.”

On his choice to substitute Dries Mertens for physical striker Andrea Petagna, the coach explained: “It was my choice, I wanted more weight upfront. Unfortunately, it didn’t pay off. Now we have to go home and rest, there is a little fatigue and we are struggling now.

“Unfortunately, without Victor Osimhen we don’t have as many options for attacking. So we need to always pass it around and unlock defences that way.

“We have to look over our shoulders too. Because if we don’t win, then those behind us are going to close in.”

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Motta hails win over Napoli

Spezia coach Thiago Motta was delighted with his side’s 1-0 win away at Napoli. Their opponents were 18 home Serie A matches unbeaten but have now lost three in a row on their own turf.

Little Eagles did not have a single shot on target and their winner came from a Juan Jesus own goal in the 37th minute.

Thiago Motta said: “We know that Napoli are a team that tries to spread out with a full-back on the other side, with a winger and when we sit deep it becomes more difficult to defend. We tried to keep ourselves as high as possible.

“I’m happy with the path, I think from the beginning we have worked a lot together with these guys. We are always in line with the goal of the club and the value of our team.

‘We did well in the first half of the season, sometimes not so well, but it happens. We know that we are always fighting to avoid relegation. I am convinced and confident that we will do even better in the second half.

“That’s the way our job is: pressure, discussions, they’ll always exist, that’s why I like it so much, every day with great commitment and professionalism with the staff and the players, who are the protagonists, who played a great game and deservedly won.”

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