Napoli captain Lorenzo Insigne revealed the Partenopei are hurt after losing out on a place in the Champions League. ‘We are still angry’.

The Azzurri prepare for the second round of the Europa League against Spartak Moscow and Insigne, who earlier said he’s not thinking about his own contractual situation at the club, spoke at a press conference ahead of the home game against Spartak Moscow on Thursday.


“We had a great training session, as usual, and we are well prepared,” Insigne said. “We must stay focused and with our feet on the group. The road is long both in the League and in Europe.

“We don’t have to be overwhelmed by the enthusiasm that surrounds us but focus on our work and to get the most out of every game.

“We must be ready to play our game and win at all costs.”

Insigne spoke about coach Luciano Spalletti, who has started his time with the Partenopei in remarkable fashion.

“We talked a lot, but these things remain between us,” he said. “Not only with me, he talks to the whole team to bring out the potential we have always had. We have an excellent relationship.”

The captain spoke about the draw against Leicester in the first round of fixtures and the competition in the Europa League.

“We knew it was going to be tough at Leicester. We faced a great team with strong players,” Insigne continued. “We got there, and even if we were 2-0 down, we stayed calm and managed to get a draw.

“This point could be very useful, now we have another great match tomorrow. Spartak lost in the 90th after dominating, we must give 300 per cent.

“It’s to early to say how far we can reach. We must enjoy the moment, be calm and prepare every game in the best possible way.

“We want to get as far as possible in all competitions and the Europa League is a competition we care about.”

But Insigne admitted the fifth place in Serie A still hurts and that the Partenopei are working for a return to the Champions League.

“It still hurts us not to be in the Champions League,” he said. “Last year we had to do it, we didn’t and we are still angry.

“First of all, we will try to get into the top four. Last year we lacked something, me in the first place. Spalletti knew of our strength, of the quality in our squad and he is working for this.

“Me, [Kalidou] Koulibaly, Dries [Mertens] and the coach are trying to encourage all our teammates. I have fun on the pitch, it’s been a long time since I had fun, even in training. And that’s important because if it’s so, we will do great things.”

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