Wednesday March 19 2014
Benitez: Calcio must change

Napoli Coach Rafa Benitez believes there must be a change in the way Italian teams approach matches.

The Spanish tactician was speaking at a Press conference ahead of his side’s Europa League second leg with Porto and says too much emphasis is placed on defence in the peninsula.

“European football is attacking football and that is what the television audiences and the fans like,” Benitez told the journalists gathered.

“Italian football however concerns itself a lot with not conceding goals.

“A change in mentality is necessary. How a team defends can be decisive, but not always.

“In Italy everyone talks about playing with three at the back, but really there are 11 men behind the ball!”

The former Inter boss then discussed his team’s recent fortunes and their chances of overturning a 1-0 deficit against the Portuguese champions tomorrow night.

“We are confident,” he said. “We have shown that we can win at home, we have already done it in the Champions League.

“San Paolo could be the decisive factor.

“Our primary objective for the rest of the season is second place in Serie A, but at the moment the most important game is tomorrow.

“For the development of the team it is important we go through.

“We need to approach the game with the idea of winning, we know if we score a goal we have a bit more time.

“We must think about scoring the first goal, not the second or third.

“Against Arsenal and Dortmund we played with an intensity that everyone enjoyed.

“In the recent games with Roma and Torino however, we won with our character.

“Our objective is to have a team that continue to create chances to score while at the same time having a more and more solid defence.

“Tomorrow we have to score against one of the strongest teams in Europe.

“I think that since the start of the season the team have done well and everyone has expected a lot from them.

“Coming into a Europa League game with 50 or 60 thousand people in the stadium is very positive and important for the growth of this club.

“If we want to see more occasions like this in the future it’s very important for the fans to respect the rules and not have any problems in the stadium.”

Benitez then answered questions about his potential starting line-up for tomorrow.

“Hamsik or Mertens will play behind Higuain, they can both play that role off the striker and that’s goos for me.

“More than anything if an attacker scores he has more energy. If he plays well but doesn’t score he could still be angry.

“In the case of Higuain he is very happy at the moment.

“Behrami could play on the left or right. Henrique could play too and Reveillere is another possibility.

“I’m not complaining about injuries but we have a few.”

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