Tuesday January 5 2016
Sarri: ‘Sorry for Benitez’

Napoli Coach Maurizio Sarri feels sorry for Rafa Benitez, and discusses the Scudetto race.

Benitez left the Partenopei for Real Madrid this summer, but was yesterday sacked and replaced by Zinedine Zidane on the Bernabeu bench.

“I feel sorry for Benitez,” Sarri admitted when asked about his predecessor ahead of the Torino game.

“He found himself in a difficult situation to manage, and has paid for it through no fault of his own. Zidane? Time will tell…”

Sarri then turned his attention to matters closer to home, with his Vesuviani just a point off the top of the Serie A table.

“It had been balanced up until now, but not in the last seven or eight games because Juventus have found a different gear.

“I’ll Coach, and the balance will be broken by working harder and better on the pitch.

“What are we lacking? We’ve won 17 of our last 21 games, I don’t think we’re missing much…

“Because of that there’s not much to improve, not many teams in Europe have numbers like ours.

“If I had to choose, I’d say [Marek] Hamsik could score more goals, although he’s become a real midfielder and played great games.”

Tomorrow sees Napoli face Giampiero Ventura’s Torino, and the tactician is wary of the threat the Granata pose.

“They’re a good team, two years ago they qualified for the Europa League,” Sarri pointed out.

“Last season they fought to the end, despite playing a long season with the preliminary rounds [of the Europa League].

“They’re a competitive team, they can cause problems for anyone. I don’t know how they’ll approach it, but they keep a lot of possession, so you have to win it as high up the pitch as possible.

“It won’t benefit us to race the tempo of the game after 60 minutes, so we have to start strongly.”

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