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'Napoli won't finish second' - Benitez gives up on Roma chase

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'Napoli won't finish second' - Benitez gives up on Roma chase
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'Napoli won't finish second' - Benitez gives up on Roma chase

Napoli coach Rafael Benitez was disappointed in his side's 1-0 defeat at Parma and admitted that second place is beyond them.

Marco Parolo's second-half strike was enough to give Roberto Donadoni's side all three points to further boost its Europa League hopes and leaves Napoli 12 points behind second-placed Roma.

Despite the defeat, Benitez feels his side has had a good season and will focus on its Coppa Italia final clash with Fiorentina in May.

"I still consider this a very, very positive campaign," the Spaniard told Sky Sport Italia. "However, you can tell we are missing something. We won’t finish second, as Roma win those games that we do not.

"This is the reality and we have to work every day to improve, but in the meantime we can lock down third and prepare for the Coppa Italia final."

Benitez was disappointed to lose Sunday's game after such a positive first half display but says his team can learn from the defeat.

"We are all disappointed to lose a game that was under control in the first half and at the end of the day Parma only had one shot on goal. We had a great chance and we missed it.

"It’s true we need to have more intensity when going forward and in defending. We have a team with quality, it has its strengths and weaknesses, which we need to analyze and learn to improve. Lack of consistency in a game is one of those things.

"Every player has his characteristics and it’s not easy to change everything. We changed many things, are in third place, but there’s a long way to go yet until we can create a team that has the right mentality to win every game. That is what I want and what I’m working towards."

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