After AC Milan’s 0-0 draw with Napoli, Partenopei coach Maurizio Sarri admitted that there may be some mental fatigue creeping into the minds of players.
Despite Napoli having almost 60 percent possession, they rarely tested Gianluigi Donnarumma until the final moments when Arkadiusz Milik was denied by an excellent stop by the youngster.
And as a result of the draw, Napoli could end up six points behind Juventus in the race for the Scudetto.
“If you are scoring less goals but the points come, then things are good,” Sarri began. “Even though we have more issues with that at the moment.
“Today we didn’t give Milan much, and were good at stopping their attacks. Donnarumma made a miracle save. Our three offensive players weren’t as lethal as they could be.
“From a physical point of view we are doing well, but maybe some nervousness and mental fatigue is creeping up on some players.
“If we were conditioned by Juve, then we would already have given up as they always win.
“It would be futile to concentrate on that. The players’ minds can drift to other things during the season end, there are small unconscious aspects that can affect their mentality.
“If we played this game in the first half of the season, then everyone would be better, but in the second half, things become minimised as only the result counts.
“The players have their own lives and are more or less immune from any outside influences.
“Our identity cannot be questioned by anyone. Today some have criticised us because we didn’t win at the San Siro. Five years ago we came here got a 0-0 and celebrated.”
Sarri’s future at Napoli has come into question with Monaco and Premier League side Chelsea said to be interested in his services for next season.
“I have a contract until 2020, and the president has made it clear a renewal is there,” Sarri went on. “I have earned a lot of money for a while, though maybe less than lots of other coaches.
“I’m lucky to have fans that give me love and affection. If I think I can repay this love with results, then I will gladly stay.
“If I can’t then I’ll leave.”