Carlo Ancelotti has accused his Napoli players of having an attitude problem after they collapsed to a 3-0 Serie A defeat at Sampdoria.
Last season's runners up negotiated their first two league games of the Ancelotti era impressively, beating Lazio and AC Milan.
But they had to come from behind on both occasions and such escapology proved beyond them on Sunday as Gregoire Defrel hit a first-half brace before Sampdoria captain Fabio Quagliarella sealed the points with a sensational backheel volley.
Oh my! Fabio Quagliarella delivers goal of the year candidate as Sampdoria shock Napoli in Serie A. pic.twitter.com/ZjcOZGsl0b— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) September 2, 2018
"It's clear that we had the same start to the match we had in the first two games, but we managed to overturn the situation on those occasions," Ancelotti told Sky.
"We played a high-intensity second half, but we gave the first [away], especially from the point of view of the attitude.
"We do not have to change either the tactics or the system; we have to defend better. We need to be more careful and focused, especially in the first part of the match."
Asked whether he got his selection wrong in the absence of skipper Marek Hamsik and forward Jose Callejon, Ancelotti replied: "Maybe that was the problem, it would mean that it was just my wrong choice. In my opinion, it was the general attitude.
"We had prepared the game knowing that we had to push on the wings, but we did little with the full-backs. The problem is the general mental attitude.
"We need intensity. In the second half there was a team on the field, in the first, no. I would like a team that played the rest of the games right from the start."
Napoli return to action at home to Fiorentina after the international break.
Three-time Champions League winner Ancelotti is back in work for the first time since being sacked by Bayern Munich last September.