Rafa Benitez insists there’s nothing “courageous” about rotating the Napoli squad against Genoa. “I know it’s necessary.”
The Partenopei temporarily went back on top of the table after a 2-0 victory at Marassi, secured with a Goran Pandev brace despite resting players like Gonzalo Higuain and Marek Hamsik. Duvan Zapata was given his Serie A debut in attack.
“I am consistent rather than courageous. I have experience and have been in Europe many times, so I know squad rotation is necessary to make everyone in the side stronger. The team won with character,” Benitez told Sky Sport Italia.
“It’s no secret that Pandev prefers playing in the centre. He was there today and scored, so he has no excuse!
“I didn’t like some things in defence, as we allowed too many crosses into the box, but it’s not easy in these conditions. I thought the game was closer to 3-0 than 2-1 all the way through.
“Many of our players cause problems for the opposition, whether they score or not. Duvan created a lot of space for the wingers today.”
Napoli were held to a shock 1-1 home draw by Sassuolo on Wednesday evening and Benitez was asked how he is keeping the euphoria levels down.
“It is tougher for the fans, as they see the team winning almost every game and think we can win everything. We know that’s not the case.
“With the players we look at the good work we’ve done and the bad things, so they know we are now at 75 per cent.”
Today President Aurelio De Laurentiis threatened to pull Napoli out of the San Paolo and build a new stadium in Caserta unless the council sells him the venue.
“Clearly if a club owns its stadium, it has more revenue. It is much easier to make money,” noted the former Liverpool and Chelsea manager.