Walter Mazzarri may be ‘saddened’ at the prospect of missing Napoli’s European clash with Chelsea, but his eyes are currently only fixed on Fiorentina.
The Partenopei face the London club in the Last 16 knockout stage of the Champions League next Tuesday.
Despite the challenge in trying to take the club further than they’ve ever been in the competition being less than a week away, Coach Mazzarri has been quick to remind fans that there is a League game to play beforehand.
“I am only focused on the game in Florence,” Mazzarri told the assembled Press on Thursday.
“Fiorentina are one of the best teams for how they are playing at home. Delio Rossi is a strong Coach, one of the most talented too and has added value to La Viola.
“He knows that Napoli need to be countered in a certain way and he will be attentive in both phases of play.
“It will be a hard-fought game tactically and the most-motivated team will prevail.”
On motivation, Mazzarri expanded further, suggesting that the regularity of games is hindering his man-management.
“I’m sure my players will think the same as me. Usually I transfer my motivation on to the players, for me it is easy to say, but they then have to convert that motivation into a competitive character.
“We play every three days, sometimes I wonder about the time between one game and the next.
“Our real training ahead of Fiorentina will be done in a session and a half. Unfortunately there is no time to train if we play every three days.”
Marcello Lippi and Diego Maradona have both been linked with succeeding Mazzarri in the Napoli hotset.
“For me this [news] is a source of pride. Thanks to me, Napoli is back to being competitive and being coveted by great Coaches. Thanks to me and my staff we have brought Napoli back into the Champions League, I’m proud of that.”
However, Mazzarri will sit out the club’s Last 16 double-header with Chelsea, after UEFA confirmed that his two-match touchline ban will be served.
“My suspension? We have taken note and are currently waiting for the reasons. I was hoping and counting on a reduction.”