Napoli and Fiorentina drew 3-3 in a high scoring affair Thursday night at Stadio Artemio Franchi.
Napoli Manager Maurizio Sarri spoke to Premium Sport after the match. Sarri said Manolo Gabbiadini took the penalty for Napoli’s third goal because he’s reliable.
“Manolo is very reliable in these situations,” Sarri said. “He feels no pressure.”
Sarri also said the team needs to grow in their level of mentality in order to win matches.
“The goal to make it 2-2 hurt us and gave our opponents a lot of enthusiasm,” Sarri said. “Fiorentina played a great game by executing their tasks. As is often the case, we missed something in our level of mentality. We have to grow in this perspective because we risk not gathering points from our performances. There is nothing to complain about, we could’ve lost the game. The performance level was good. In regards to our mentality level, I expect that this team will grow quickly.”
“To the inexperience that can cost us something, in some moments of the game I would like to see aggressiveness and a different determination,” Sarri said. “We still struggle at the level of reading different moments of the game. Sometimes, the defensive errors are induced. At times we do what we have to do and at times we don’t. This is our margin of growth.”
Sarri touched on the good moments Napoli had in the match. He also mentioned Amadou Diawara in the midfield and how he can’t do everything himself.
“Tonight, the team was a bit less brilliant, but we were able to execute on seven or eight good plays,” Sarri said. “Diawara can’t defend both of their attacking midfielders on his own. This put us in difficulty. We were very poor on defending their long balls.”
The forward position has been a question mark ever since Arkadiusz Milik went down with an ACL injury. Sarri said the team has to adapt to what is available.
“We have to adapt to what we have available,” Sarri said. “The striker determines the team’s style of play if he’s put in the right conditions. Last year we played with the same formation, but in a different way to suit (Gonzalo) Higuain. Now, we play to favor (Dries) Mertens. This situation intrigues me. I had the impression that in the second half we played passing the ball long more. The distances between the different positions were not the same. We are a team that if we are not able to run with the ball with speed, then we have some trouble.”
Napoli defender Nikola Maksimovic had to come on for the partenopei to replace Vlad Chiriches who picked up an injury. Sarri explained that Maksimovic works hard to fit into his role for the team.
“[Maksimovic] is doing a bit more hard work than normal,” Sarri said. “In the last four years, he played in three-man defense, which is diametrically opposed. The time he had to devote to training and the defense was very limited. We are trying to get him on par with the interpretation of his role. Chiriches had the same kind of problem. This year he is perfectly integrated and is an important player for us.”
Napoli maintains third place with 35 points in the Serie A table at the end of the day. The azzurri will play Sampdoria at the Stadio San Paolo when the teams are back in action in the new year on Jan. 7.