Friday January 24 2014
Benitez: Napoli only looking up

Rafa Benitez says Napoli are only looking to bypass Roma in Serie A and are not looking over their shoulders at Fiorentina.

The Vesuviani’s draw last weekend with Bologna saw them fall four points behind the Giallorossi and allow La Viola to move to just three points behind in fourth.

However, heading into Week 21’s fixture at home to Chievo, Napoli’s Coach has outlined where focus lies.

“We are looking forward, we believe that the Champions League is a necessary goal for the club,” Benitez has commented to reporters today.

“I have said before that the club that we are looking towards is the Giallorossi.

“I do not like to look back. Fiorentina are doing well, but our goal is to surpass Roma and qualify for the Champions League directly.

“Are we concerned with dropping points to smaller teams? There have been teams that have defended well, played well at the San Paolo and taken some points for our mistakes.

“We have made mistakes on set-pieces, so we have a few points less. The key against Chievo will be the concentration during key stages of the match, we must control the counter-attacks and strike at every opportunity.

“Against Chievo, everything will depend on our concentration. Each training session we have worked on defence and attack.

“Chievo have a good structure and will want to be dangerous on the counter, whilst we will try to break through their defence.”

New signing Jorginho has been working with the team this week and could feature.

“He has trained very well these past few days, he is in good condition. I do not have any issues in making a decision about his involvement, against Chievo he could debut.

“His involvement is a possibility, I have more options in midfield and this is a positive factor.

“I have spoken with him, he can play in a midfield two or three. He could play alongside Hamsik should he drop back slightly, but we will evaluate with every game.”

Benitez was asked for comment on Napoli’s struggles otherwise to secure deals during this month. They have been linked with moves to strengthen in defence and in midfield further.

“I am not worried, but busy. I talk to [sporting director Riccardo] Bigon every day to be certain about our contacts, there is ongoing contact with the ds and with management. We are working well, this is not an easy market. We have taken Jorginho for now and Andujar for the future. We are working to strengthen ourselves, I am in contact with Bigon and the President. We know what we want, we are ready to work until January 31.

“Can we still aim for the Champions League without further reinforcement? We have proven to be a competitive team. We will fight until the end to be a team at the top.

“Our defence? I do not want to talk about the market, but we are working hard every day and looking at players that may be useful.

“The defence can be improved - we need to work better, or intervene in the market. We are working towards both directions.

“Players in Serie A are more expensive. If an Italian was worth €10m then he would sell for €15m. Abroad, the prices are high, but to operate in Italy it is not easy.”