Wednesday January 21 2015
Benitez: ‘Our pride as champions’

Coach Rafa Benitez discusses his team in detail ahead of the game against Udinese and says Napoli want to win the Coppa Italia again.

The Partenopei conquered the Coppa Italia last year in a 3-1 final win against Fiorentina, but their boss is adamant they should not rest on their laurels in preparing for the Zebrette.

“When I talk to the players I tell them that we must try to win it again,” said Benitez in his Press conference ahead of tomorrow's game.

“When you've tasted victory, then the drive to attain that again and the pride of being the champion helps you.

“We know what to do. Tomorrow we'll show why we are the champions.”

The Spaniard's contingent will be up against Antonio Di Natale, who may be taking part in his last ever Coppa Italia if reports today are to be believed.

“His numbers are their own introduction. His precision when looking for the goal is spectacular.

“But our attitude will be that of a team that is hungry to win and to go ahead in this competition.

“[Gokhan] Inler and [Raul] Albiol are suspended, everybody else is available for the game. [Mariano] Andujar could play from the first minute.

“As for [Ivan] Strinic, judging by his game against Lazio and the way he responds in training I'd say he's doing well.

“He can play against Udinese. He looks like someone who knows how to pace himself.

“Some have said that with [David] Lopez and [Hugo] Gargano we lack skill in possession, but if we won then it means this duo is working well.

“Still, I'm also happy to go with Inler and Jorginho, who have greater technical quality. The playing style changes of course, but the team has to understand what to do in each game.

“As Bigon said, Inler is a model for us. He is of an extremely high level, this year Lopez and Gargano's development gave him a bit of challenge.

“The formation is what it is, it's the players who make the difference.

“As for [Juan] Zuniga, he is training together with [Lorenzo] Insigne, slowly they'll both come back from their injuries. Michu will come back this week or the next, but we're keeping touch with him and his physiotherapist.”

Benitez was asked in closing whether Gargano might get the captain's armband.

“Walter is an example, a true professional. He always gives 100 per cent. But the rule is that the senior team-member gets the armband.

“In our case we've got [Marek] Hamsik and [Christian] Maggio, Gargano is third.

“He's of great help to his teammates. In football people like to talk, but truth shows up on the pitch and he always demonstrates that.”