Sometimes when a team does poorly, players will hide behind platitudes and half-truths when talking about it later on. Poor luck or a bad bounce, or the ref getting in the way or goodness knows what else, but the fault is anyone but theirs, right?
Of course, most players aren't Marek Hamsik.
"We paid the price for our mistakes," the Slovakian said of Napoli's 3-1 loss to Palermo on Saturday. "It was a failure of the team. But we're already looking forward, and Thursday we expect [to win] the first leg of the tie with Trabzonspor."
"A failure of the team" is certainly an interesting way to put it, but it's pretty accurate. Hamsik was one of the very few Napoli players who didn't perform terribly against Palermo, and the squad will have to be much, much better and more focused on Thursday against Trabzonspor if they want a positive result in Turkey.
Hamsik had to be substituted early in the second half after suffering a knock, and he didn't seem too happy about it. "I had a problem with my right thigh," he told the press. "I tried to fight through [the knock] for a few minutes, but it restricted my movements on the field."
The midfielder probably could have kept on with some effect with how he was moving at the time - Hamsik played half of last season with a lingering knee injury, after all - but with his captain finally rounding in to sustained good form again, Rafa Benitez didn't want to risk causing lasting damage in a match Napoli had already lost. Hamsik will be further evaluated early in the week to see how serious the injury is - or isn't, hopefully - and we shouldn't be surprised if he starts on the bench on Thursday.