Ancelotti backs Napoli squad despite Europa League disappointment

Carlo Ancelotti

Napoli made a disappointing Europa League exit, but Carlo Ancelotti backed his players.

Carlo Ancelotti still believes in Napoli’s squad as he defended his players after their Europa League defeat to Arsenal.

The Serie A side bowed out in the quarter-finals after a 1-0 loss at home on Thursday saw them suffer a 3-0 aggregate defeat.

Ancelotti, in his first season at the helm, said Napoli needed to push on despite their European disappointment.

“I still believe that the squad is full of quality. The players have done all they could but this is football,” he told a news conference.

“At times not everything goes your way. We tried, we look forward, there won’t be drama from the players or the club, everyone is united and is trying to bring the club further forward from what we’ve done this season.

“I don’t think Napoli has managed to reach many quarter-finals in European competitions in the past, so our objective is always to improve.”

Napoli’s exit means no Italian clubs reached the semi-finals in either the Europa League or Champions League.

Ancelotti’s focus is still on trying to secure second spot in Serie A, with Napoli seven points clear of third-placed Inter.

“Obviously we are very disappointed to go out of the Europa League. We’ve failed in this objective and we know it was going to be difficult,” he said.

“We know there are no Italian teams in the semi-finals of European competitions. We knew from the start it would be tough.

“This season, on our results, we think we should finish second in Serie A. That’s not too little for us.

“We need to prepare well for next season knowing the team has been renewed, and it will be renewed for next season.”

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