Mertens urges Napoli to bounce back quickly

Cape Town - Napoli striker Dries Mertens has urged his team-mates to respond positively after the Partenopei were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.

Maurizio Sarri's charges lost 2-1 to Feyenoord in their final Group F encounter, leaving them third in the group behind Manchester City and Shakhtar Donetsk, and relegating them to the Europa League. Piotr Zielinski put the Italian side in the lead after only two minutes, but Nicolai Jorgensen and Jeremiah St. Juste secured the win for Feyenoord.

The defeat also came less than a week after Napoli lost 1-0 at home against Juventus in Serie A, which saw them drop to second position in the standings.

"We are in a difficult period and we didn't manage to play our usual football," Mertens told UEFA's official website.

"During every season you have to face a spell like this, but we want to return to our usual standard as quickly as possible.

"It was not easy tonight after hearing the score from the other game, but we have to look at ourselves in the mirror and try to understand how to start playing our best football again.

"We are a solid group and I’m sure we will do it.”