Napoli in row with players over training retreat

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The Napoli players appear to have a good relationship with Ancelotti and club captain Lorenzo Insigne backed the coach in his post game comments.

Tension is building in Naples following a poor run of form that has seen Ancelotti's side win just twice since September, and the experienced head coach risks a UEFA fine after failing to hold a news conference after Tuesday's 1-1 draw with Salzburg in the Champions League.

Considered a title contender at the start of the season, Napoli has sunk to seventh in Serie A. The draw with Salzburg meant Napoli missed a chance to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Aurelio De Laurentiis ordered Napoli players to be kept at the team's training ground on Tuesday, but Carlo Ancelotti disagreed with the president's decision and his men departed the camp.

De Laurentiis stressed that he was not trying to punish the players, who face Genoa in Serie A on Saturday.

After the game Insigne backed his manager, saying: 'We're a close-knit group and that's down to the coach as he maintains calm and has tried to take the pressure off us in this hard spell.

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"It is noted that, responsibility for the first team players undertaking the days in ritiro was afforded to first manager Carlo Ancelotti". "We're grateful to him and all want to perform well for him".

"We must look forward and think positive".

De Laurentiis ordered the ritiro Monday after Saturday's 2-1 defeat at AS Roma.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, De Laurentiis spoke with his lawyers to learn about the disciplinary measures he could take after the players' revolt.

Napoli released a club statement on their official website essentially confirming they will be taking legal action against members of their playing squad, while they will be holding Ancelotti exclusively responsible for the decision not to head to the training retreat.

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