Saturday July 21 2012
Pandev: 'I believe in Napoli'

Goran Pandev is relishing his new status at Napoli and the change of tactics. “I made a lifestyle choice and believe in this project.”

The striker spent last season at the San Paolo on loan and made the move permanent from Inter, rising up the pecking order following Ezequiel Lavezzi’s sale to PSG.

“I made a lifestyle choice,” the Macedonian international said in a Press conference.

“I believe in this project, as there is a great future here and fans who have faith in us. The Coach also respects me, so I am happy.”

Walter Mazzarri has adjusted his system in pre-season to a 3-5-1-1 with Pandev supporting the centre-forward and Marek Hamsik moved back into midfield.

“Am I the replacement for Lavezzi? Pocho and I are two different players. He did very well here and then decided to leave, I am happy for him. I have my own characteristics and hope to show them by playing for the team.

“For now the Coach has chosen the 3-5-1-1 system and I already played in that role behind Tommaso Rocchi during my time at Lazio under Delio Rossi. I hope to reach double figures in terms of goals, but the team is always the first priority.”

While Cavani is on duty with Uruguay for the London Olympics, Under-21 international Lorenzo Insigne has taken over as Napoli’s star striker.

“Insigne is a player of great quality, but we have to give him time to grow and relax. We mustn’t put too much pressure on him.

“Edu Vargas is working hard to understand the movements that the Coach asks of him. Hamsik has been here a long time, recently renewed his contract and is happy at Napoli.

“We will try to improve our position in the table. We mustn’t think about winning the Scudetto at all costs, because we are not among the favourites. In my view Juventus are in pole position, followed by Milan and Inter.”

Napoli beat Bayern Munich 3-2 in a friendly on Friday evening, as they continue their preparations for the August encounter with Juve in Beijing.

“Now we have to focus on getting ready for the Italian Super Cup against the Bianconeri. Anything can happen in a one-off match.”