Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso aims for a return to the Champions League, as he admits a top four position ‘must be the target’ for a club like the Partenopei.
Gattuso took over in December last year and helped the team climb to seventh in Serie A and claimed ‘nothing changes’ as he prepares to lead the Partenopei from the beginning of the new season.
“The responsibility is the same, I was born for this. When you coach Napoli, you train a great club and nothing changes,” Gattuso said at a press conference.
“We need to improve our position from last year. I’m not afraid, quite the contrary. We work with our heads down.
“I’m satisfied with the team I coach. I have some of the best young players in Europe, I don’t care about the transfer market.
“It’s normal that the club has lost a lot, without the fans and without access to the Champions League. I think about coaching, that’s what I do best. And if someone leaves, we’ll see.”
Napoli’s season ended on August 8, with the new starting on September 19, and Gattuso knows he must ‘be careful’ with his players.
“In fact, it’s just a new championship. For 45 days we played a different sport, every three days. It was hard to prepare every game in the video room, we must be good at doing as little damage as possible, not losing players and be careful.
“Those who lose fewer players will do well, they will soon travel with the national teams, it’s a different and new football, but we won’t be caught unprepared.”
Gattuso prepares for his first full season with the Azzurri and says the team are aiming for a place in the Champions League.
“I don’t expect much from myself,” he said. “I hope to stay focused and not go wild. I know what I can give to the team, but I must work hard.
“I have to be clear minded. I expect a lot from the older players of this group. The goal is to reach Europe. We know it’s difficult, but to improve you need to aim for the Champions League.
“This team have been qualifying for that competition for many years, getting in the top four must be our target. But there’s the awareness that it will not be easy.”
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