New Napoli coach Mazzarri hails players for victory over Atalanta

New Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri was delighted after their 2-1 win against Atalanta.

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s opener for Napoli was canceled out by Ademola Lookman before Eljif Elmas’ winner.

“A victory in this stadium, against this team, was not easy and will not be easy for anyone,” Mazzarri told DAZN.

“The first half we were almost perfect, but we lost our intensity too much after the restart and Atalanta naturally gave it their all. I had hoped for a better second half performance than this.

“What I said in my first press conference was true, this is a team that dominated last season, played some of the best football in Europe and with players who were not accustomed to being in this position. So there was obviously going to be some sort of a dip after that.

“On top of that, all the opponents step up a level because they know that they are facing the Champions of Italy. It was always evident this was going to be a complicated campaign in those circumstances.

“I know a little something about tactics too and the players have done well to take on those lessons quickly. We worked on the defensive line, as I had seen in recent games that the defence sat too deep. We were tighter, more compact and I honestly didn’t expect to see these concepts put into practice so quickly against a super team like Atalanta.

“The only reason I didn’t use this system before was that my teams didn’t really have the players suited to it. The players really paid attention in training and wanted to learn as much as possible.”

He added, “I didn’t need to be the Napoli coach to know that Osimhen is an excellent striker, I had watched him play! Fortunately he is back, I hope he gets his form back as soon as possible.”

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