Napoli boss Luciano Spalletti threatens to ‘leave the bench and GO HOME’ if fans don’t back team for Milan return leg

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Luciano Spalletti SSC Napoli head coach
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Napoli boss Luciano Spalletti has vowed to "leave the bench and go home" if fans fail to back his team in next week's return leg against Milan.
  • Napoli trail after first leg defeat
  • Fans staged silent protest in most recent home game
  • Spalletti calls for support

WHAT HAPPENED? The veteran head coach was speaking after he'd watched his side fall to a 1-0 first-leg defeat in their Champions League quarter-final tie against Milan. While Spalletti rued missed chances and the dismissal of Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa at San Siro, he was also keen to send a message to fans to put aside their grievances with the club and create a big match atmosphere during next week's return match.

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WHAT THEY SAID: Spalletti told the press: "I'm not sure what atmosphere to expect next week, I was sorry to see our stadium like that against Milan [in a 4-0 loss on April 2]. "We're winning the championship after 33 years, we were playing an important game and to see that 'everyone against everyone' is something that I'll never understand and that I'll always carry with me.

 "If the same thing happens in the return match, I'll leave the bench and go home. Because it's an inexplicable thing. The boys are sensitive to what happens around them and against Milan at the Maradona we played in an absurd atmosphere. We were taken hostage."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Despite Napoli's stunning season, their has been an underlying current of discontent between a section of their fans and president Aurelio De Laurentiis which culminated in a protest about ticket prices in their most recent home game against Milan. The Rossoneri came away with a 4-0 win played out in a bizarre atmosphere where many fans protested by watching the game in silence and some with their backs turned to the field.

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Napoli Fans

Napoli fans

WHAT NEXT? Napoli will continue their procession towards a historic league title this weekend against Verona but with a 16-point lead can afford to focus their minds on turning round the Champions League tie against Milan on Tuesday night, in front of what Spalletti hopes will be a rocking Stadio Diego Armando Maradona. The Partenopei will also hope to have talisman Victor Osimhen back in their ranks.