Gennaro Gattuso could be on the verge of being sacked after he admitted to being “worried and scared” following Napoli’s third straight loss in Serie A on Saturday.
Napoli, last season’s Serie A runners-up lost 2-0 at home to Fiorentina to fall to 13th position putting them closer to the relegation zone than the Champions League places.
They are without a league win at their San Paolo Stadium since October 19 ahead of hosting Barcelona in the Champions League in a month’s time.
For Gattuso, the “soulless, unwatchable and embarrassing” defeat was his fourth in five league games since replacing Carlo Ancelotti on December 11, with the club then in seventh spot.
“I’m very worried,” admitted the 42-year-old former AC Milan coach.
“We have hit rock bottom and we need to understand what we are going towards.
“We’re not looking at the Champions League, we’re looking at the scary ranking. We’re playing with fire.”
Federico Chiesa and Dusan Vlahovic scored in either half to give Fiorentina a valuable win in Naples.
“The performance was embarrassing, we must apologise to the fans and the city,” continued Gattuso.
Gattuso said the team had agreed to head straight to a training retreat at Castel Volturno, northwest of Naples, before hosting Lazio in the Italian Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday and welcoming champions Juventus to Naples next weekend.
“We have to look at each other, be together, let off steam and look for solutions. What we are doing is not enough,” explained Gattuso.
“I was convinced that we would have a great performance today but I saw a team that did the opposite of what we had prepared.”
In his playing days, Gattuso won two Serie A and two Champions League titles in 13 years at AC Milan. He also won the World Cup with Italy in 2006.
He stepped down as coach of AC Milan last May after they missed out on the Champions League places on the final day of the season to city rivals Inter.
“I want to find a solution, I didn’t come here to stay two months. I like difficult challenges,” he warned.
Napoli have not won a trophy since the days of Argentina great Diego Maradona, who lifted them to their only Serie A titles in 1987 and 1990 and the UEFA Cup in 1989.