Walter Mazzarri is in bullish mood as Napoli battle for the Scudetto. “We are not liked because people fear us.”
The Coach has a famously brusque manner with players, colleagues and journalists, earning a reputation as something of a tricky character.
“In my view a winning Coach is someone who hits his targets year after year, based on the squad at his disposal. You cannot judge a tactician without looking at his players.
“People tend to dislike me and Napoli because they fear us. I'd rather be liked by the fans, as it means I'm doing a good job.”
Mazzarri has been repeatedly linked with the position at Juventus next season.
“Perhaps the media are trying to distract me because they are afraid. The truth is I am very happy at Napoli.
“As for rumours I went around offering myself to different clubs, let me point out I have had success in this profession for 10 years. Do you really link I have to go round knocking on doors for work?”
Napoli are only three points shy of leaders Milan and this weekend travel to already-safe Bologna, but Edinson Cavani is suspended.
“This team can challenge everyone, even without Cavani,” he said. “I have a few doubts still, but Juan Zuniga and Giuseppe Mascara are in good shape, while Cristiano Lucarelli is there too. I could even play with a packed midfield.
“Bologna must be praised for what they have done this season. I always tend to lose when playing in Bologna, so I hope it can be the right time to turn that trend around.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £11,000 to be won monthly!