Monday January 6 2014
Benitez: 'Napoli too open'

Rafa Benitez warned Napoli should “be quicker at finishing games off” after a nervous 2-0 victory over Sampdoria.

Although the scoreline was reassuring with a Dries Mertens brace, the visitors rattled the woodwork twice – including a Gianluca Sansone effort that hit both uprights.

“The team had many scoring opportunities and could’ve made the difference in the first half. The game was more open in the second and they caused us problems, but we got the goals,” Benitez told Sky Sport Italia.

“Yesterday Mertens practiced free kicks and we know Gonzalo Higuain is very good at finding his teammates.

“I would like to see us stronger in defence and quicker at finishing games off, but it’s reassuring to see such attacking football.

“This is an attack-minded team and it’s something we have to take into account when looking at how we defend.”

Marek Hamsik is still out with a foot injury, though Benitez has numerous options to choose from.

“Marek did very well at the start of the season playing behind the striker. He needs to get back to 100 per cent fitness, but Goran Pandev, Jose Callejon or Hamsik can all play there. It’s just a matter of finding the right balance.”

The Coach was asked about plans for the January transfer window, including reports of an offer for Cagliari midfielder Radja Nainggolan.

“I said we are working, but the transfer market is tough at the moment. If there are excellent players available, then they are too expensive. It’s difficult to find the right balance.

“Is Nainggolan too expensive? I don’t know how much he costs...”