Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis has defended the sacking of coach Edy Reja.

"I said to Reja that the dressing room no longer followed him and that there was a need to give the team some direction otherwise we would return to where we were before," De Laurentiis explained.

Napoli are in only their second season back in the top flight after seven harrowing years in Italy's lower divisions.

"I had already thought about Donadoni," De Laurentiis admitted. "I knew him and had already spoken to him in past moments of crisis."

When asked to further clarify how Donadoni's appointment came about, De Laurentiis replied: "After the defeat against Lazio, which came while I was in Los Angeles, I asked myself what I should do.

"On Tuesday morning, around 11 o'clock, a meeting between Donadoni, Pierpaolo Marino and I took place in Rome."