Walter Mazzarri reveals he ordered Napoli to “always play as if it's 0-0,” but is “worried about Edinson Cavani's ankle.”
The Partenopei beat Villarreal 2-0 in their first Champions League/European Cup home game for 21 years.
“This time we didn't throw the lead away. The watchword was always play as if it's 0-0,” the Coach told Mediaset Premium.
“We've got to play one game at a time. The lads were shattered in the second half. Unfortunately, we've lost Salvatore Aronica too. Last season the injuries were not so frequent.”
They are now three points clear in second place in Group A, as Manchester City lost 2-0 at Bayern Munich.
“There is a lot of work and we've grown earlier than expected. Mentality is everything and I always told the lads not to think about the opponents, whether home or away. I think they followed my orders to the letter.
“Aside from what the results may be, Napoli are always in the game. We'll rarely fall without a fight. At times, such as the last two Serie A rounds, we were unable to win, but were always organised. That will be the case all the way.”
Napoli are unaccustomed to playing in the Champions League and the packed fixture list is playing havoc with fitness levels.
“I am worried by Cavani's ankle, just as I am by Aronica's injury. I don't know if Christian Maggio can recover in time to face Inter on Saturday.
“Gokhan Inler and Walter Gargano were exhausted and I have no replacements, as Blerim Dzemaili and Marco Donadel are out of action. Playing every few days is extremely tough.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.