Saturday December 14 2013
Benitez: 'Napoli, ignore Mazzarri'

Rafa Benitez urged Napoli fans not to jeer Inter boss Walter Mazzarri when he returns to the San Paolo.

The two sides go head-to-head on Sunday at 19.45 GMT, click here for a match preview.

It is also a comeback to Naples for current Nerazzurri Coach Walter Mazzarri.

“Should the fans applaud or jeer Mazzarri? If I were a fan, I’d just applaud Napoli. I would focus only on helping the team that I support. It will be a difficult game and if a fan goes to the San Paolo, he does it only to cheer on Napoli,” argued Benitez.

“After all, if we got into the Champions League, it was also thanks to Mazzarri’s work last season. As for me, I am happy at Napoli, though I did win two trophies with Inter.

“It is an important game because we know that if we win then the gap between us and Inter will get even wider. The Nerazzurri are one of the sides that can target the Scudetto.”

The Spaniard’s time at San Siro was short-lived, as he terminated his contract by mutual consent in December 2010 after winning the Club World Cup.

“I won two trophies with Inter, that is a fact, but I am at Napoli now and I am happy. I'd say my time at Inter was more than positive in terms of achievements. When I arrived at Napoli, I was told Mazzarri, the club and the players had done great work. Now there is a different Coach, different players and the club has chosen another path.”

The Partenopei were knocked out of the Champions League despite beating Arsenal 2-0 to amass 12 points.

“I expect the team to take the same approach as the Arsenal game, in every fixture. That is the key to becoming a winning side. I want to see intensity, more consistency and more victories.

“The attitude might’ve changed against Arsenal, but the tactics remained the same. It’s not easy to maintain that tempo in Serie A and we can’t rely on the long ball as much.

“We are angry that we had to abandon the Champions League with 12 points and we’ll prove that on the pitch in Serie A.”

Marek Hamsik and Valon Behrami are unavailable, while Goran Pandev and Pepe Reina require fitness tests.

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