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.”