Sunday October 18 2015
Sarri: 'Napoli remain realistic'

Maurizio Sarri remains “a realist” about Napoli’s Scudetto chances even after they beat leaders Fiorentina 2-1.

The Partenopei are seemingly unstoppable at the moment, sweeping Milan aside 4-0 at San Siro and today defeating the Serie A leaders.

“This is the second time after a break for international duty that our initial tempo for 20-25 minutes was too slow. Fiorentina are also a strong side and love to keep the ball with their great technique,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“We did well to limit their chances first, then emerge as time wore on. We were unlucky on the equaliser, as it was against the run of play, but we showed our own confidence by believing and fighting back for the victory.”

Sarri continues to pour cold water over Scudetto talk around the Partenopei.

“I am a realist. I know we are fourth or fifth in the table, so the rest is dreams. It’s right for the fans to dream, but as professionals we have to focus on work.

“It’s a marathon of 38km and we’re only 8km in, so anyone who thinks he’s already won after 8km is mad.

“It’s very difficult to compare this season with the last. It’s true the foundations are the same, but we have brought in six or seven new players and sometimes elements are outside our control that can influence the performance of a team.

“Marek Hamsik is one of the best midfielders in Europe right now. I don’t think playing a few metres further up the field made that much of a difference last season, though he was perhaps psychologically below par.

“I don’t know if all champions are like this or I was fortunate enough to start with a group that was so eager to get to work. They’ve always been very open to changes and I have seen no difference between training champions and regular players. Maybe I’ve just been lucky.”

The former Empoli Coach has become a star in the management world thanks to his organisation and style of football at Napoli.

“I left my job in the bank in 2000 when I was training in the Interregionale league, so it was a completely mad decision. My family welcomed it though, otherwise I wouldn’t have done it.”

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