Gennaro Gattuso insists there is no ‘secret’ to his success with Napoli after a 2-1 win over Roma put them in joint fifth place. ‘We have to create a winning mentality.’
Jose Callejon and a Lorenzo Insigne curler proved decisive at the Stadio San Paolo, around a temporary Henrikh Mkhitaryan equaliser.
The Partenopei have won five of their last six Serie A games, so what is Gattuso’s secret?
“There’s no secret. I am working with strong players and I need to remind them of that every now and then. I told them after the Coppa Italia, we have to talk less and do more action,” he told Sky Sport Italia.
“Many of these players will be part of the squad next season and we have to create a winning mentality, thinking not individually, but as a team and of the team.
“Lorenzo has the ability to take men on and can make the difference, but he needs the power in his legs to do that. He can’t always play, he keeps glancing over and doesn’t like being on the bench, but it’s for his own good.
“He is very intelligent, he understands football and gets ideas quickly when we talk in training.”
Chucky Lozano came off the bench again and his imminent departure from Napoli is no longer taken for granted.
“Lozano is incredibly quick, he’s much sharper and more reactive lately, so I am giving him some more chances. He prefers the long ball and to have space to run into, but has to work more with the team and accept the shorter passes.
“Napoli are a squad who in recent years always faltered when they got to the next step. They were mentally weak and that is what I need to work on. They must realise that they have to improve day by day, to keep getting stronger, because potential is not enough.
“We pass it around well, but when the time comes, even Insigne has to track back and help out. Many don’t like that, but they have to get over it, because this is how the team has to play right now.
“Stanislav Lobotka is someone who can start the game, he’ll give you less balance in midfield, but more creativity. We’ve got strength in depth and different options we can look to in order to play the kind of football we want.”
Barcelona are struggling in La Liga, so Gattuso was asked about his confidence going into the second leg of their Champions League Round of 16.
“I don’t even know if we’ll get to August 7… I am focused on everything but that right now! I just want us to get better game by game, because we cannot think of gifting results to our opponents.
“When you hold back in the tackle and worry about the next match coming up, that is when you get it all wrong. We have to dive in every time and commit fully.”
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