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Thursday February 20 2014
Benitez 'expected Swansea struggle'

Rafa Benitez expected “a difficult game” against Swansea, so was “satisfied” with Napoli’s 0-0 draw.

“I said beforehand it would be a difficult game, as the British game is more intense and fast-paced. We played well in the first half, but Swansea were pressing us well,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“The positives are that we did not concede a goal and the team worked well when defending.

“Of course there are risks. Swansea have quality, but we must attack and win. Swansea know that and will try to be dangerous on the counter-attack with the spaces we leave.

“I am satisfied with the work we did tonight and kept another clean sheet, which means the team has improved in that respect. I am not totally satisfied, as we should’ve scored a goal to be more comfortable.

“We didn’t create enough chances tonight, as our positions on the counter were not right. We ought to have done better in those situations.”

This result means Napoli must win at the San Paolo next Thursday to qualify for the Europa League Round of 16.

“It is positive to get a draw here. Swansea are fast, they played well and had good chances, but I think defensively my team did a great job against a side that attacked from start to finish. It wasn’t easy to stop them.”

Gonzalo Higuain was in doubt until the last minute with a back problem, but Benitez assured that did not affect his performance.

“No, he’s fine, the only problems were Raul Albiol with a fever and Rafael with that sprained knee.”

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