Mazzarri: “Fitness work affected us, under no pressure until our goal”

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FRANKFURT – Walter Mazzarri spoke after the defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt. “A lot of fitness work in the week? I don’t want to look for excuses, but my fitness coach Pondrelli told me that we needed to do some hard graft otherwise we’d struggle for sharpness down the road. I think the lads suffered out there because of that. Their legs looked a bit heavy and I made changes to avoid injuries. We weren’t sharp and lacked clear heads. I think this is just the result of the workload we put in during the week.”

The Nerazzurri coach then spoke about this moment of pre-season. “At this stage of the season you can perform very well in some matches and less so in others. A lack of fitness or focus can see you run into difficulties. We hadn’t faced any danger until we scored and you need to be wary in certain situations in any case. We probably just dropped off a touch subconsciously having taken the lead. We limited the damage in the second half: Kovacic and Hernanes just needed some minutes under their belts.

“We’ll need bite in our friendly in Greece, then we’ll have a full week to prepare as best we can for the Europa League.”