Gennaro Gattuso knows Napoli need a ‘great performance to get a result’ at Camp Nou on Saturday and said Lorenzo Insigne will only start against Barcelona ‘if he feels 100 per cent ready’.
Napoli prepare to face the Blaugrana in the last 16 of the Champions League tomorrow and arrive in Catalonia after a 1-1 result in the first leg at the San Paolo.
Gattuso expects a ‘very difficult match’, hopes to use the advantage of playing behind closed doors and points at the statistics to prove he’s not a defensive coach.
“We know it will be a very difficult match for us. We know what kind of team Barcelona are and we know we must make a great performance, both technically and tactically,” Gattuso said at a press conference.
“We know we are facing great champions and we need a great game to come out with a result.”
Captain Lorenzo Insigne has been racing the clock since his injury against Lazio in the last round of fixtures in Serie A and Gattuso couldn’t confirm if the forward will start.
“Yesterday he did 50 per cent of the training, today 100 per cent with the team,” the coach added. “I want to hear that he feels 100 per cent tomorrow, if he doesn’t, he won’t start the match.
“If he’s 100 per cent, he’ll play and give us a hand to play a great game.”
Napoli won the Coppa Italia in June, but have mixed results in the League, losing three and drawing two out of their twelve games after the break.
“Lately we have been playing a different sport. This is not football,” Gattuso said. “The whole football world has been good at kick-starting the machine, but this is not football.
“We played every two days, even the Coppa Italia. I don’t know who have more of an advantage. Our luck was to reach Europe by winning the Cup, we have played many games with the brakes on, something that annoyed me.
“In the last 12 games, however, we have improved in possession, we are the team that dribbles most in Serie A, we have created a lot, despite not having finished the best.”
Gattuso knows it ‘takes time’ to get rid of his label as a defensive minded tactician, but points at the statistics.
“You just need to know how to read the data and the numbers well. Maybe in Italy we don’t know how to do it and you want to highlight my nickname, but the numbers say differently.
“If the tactical organisation is exchanged with defensiveness, it’s not my problem. As a player I have done important things with totally different characteristics from those I’m looking for as a coach.
“It takes time to get rid of a label, but that’s OK.”
Saturday’s match will be played behind closed doors and Gattuso admits it could be a ‘small advantage’ for the Azzurri.
“Football without an audience is not football. The people give you a buzz, emotions, makes you feel the game more.
“Sometimes it can be good and sometimes bad for the home team, but the public is part of the world of football.
“Tomorrow, it will give us a small advantage to not have anyone in the stands, compared to coming here and find 90,000 people in the stands."
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