MILAN (Reuters) – Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti does not agree with the club’s decision to confine his team to a so-called ‘ritiro’ for the next week but will have to go along with it, he said on Monday.
Ancelotti’s side have slipped to seventh in Serie A after taking only two points from their last three games, seriously damaging their chances of mounting another title challenge this season.
The club’s flamboyant president Aurelio De Laurentiis ordered the ‘ritiro’ — where a team is confined to a hotel or sometimes its own training base — on Monday following Saturday’s 2-1 defeat by AS Roma.
The ‘ritiro’ is a standard response to poor performances at Italian clubs although critics say it is outdated and makes highly paid professional players look like misbehaving school children.
“The club has taken this decision and we have to accept it. But, if you ask me if I agree, I would say no,” Ancelotti told reporters, adding that Napoli had run out of luck in their last week games.
“The results haven’t happened in this period, we have kept hitting the woodwork and we have paid a high price for some situations,” he said.
De Laurentiis told Naples-based Radio Kiss Kiss that his decision was not meant as a punishment. “It’s a chance for the team to get to know each other better,” he said.
Napoli’s next match is a home to Salzburg in the Champions League on Tuesday, where results have been going better for Ancelotti’s team who top Group E – which also features Liverpool and Genk — with seven points.
“We’ve handled the Champions League well so far, let’s hope it continues,” he said. “The first aim is to get through the group, if we can do that with two games to spare, that would be great. I expect a change in fortunes, I’m confident.”
(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Christian Radnedge)