It was an important win today at the San Paolo as Napoli saw out a 3-1 victory over Cagliari which took them to second place on 77 points (Roma currently has 75 points and plays Milan tomorrow at the San Siro). After the match, Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri spoke to reporters. Here is what he had to say:
On Napoli’s physical freshness this late into the season & the depth of the midfield
There are players that have grown a lot throughout the season. Zielinski has gotten better and Rog has proven reliable. Then there’s Hamsik and Allan and the depth at the deeper lying position as well. We are well covered. The midfield is doing well, but looking at the numbers you have to say the defense is doing well too.
On the banner dedicated to him in the Curva B
I have to thank not only the Curva B but all the Neapolitan people. They show you great affection and make you feel important. They’ve always treated me wonderfully. I thank the Curva and all the supporters. We are trying our best to repay them fully. Our results have been good and this is a team that stirs your emotions. This is what our supporters like. If someone expects us to suddenly become Bayern Munich then that’s a problem. Considering out level we are doing very well.
On leaving Napoli
I’d like to leave when the project is over. In life you don’t know anything for certain. In this moment there’s nothing that would change this idea of mine. I don’t know what coaching benches they are linking me to but I really don’t care. Firstly, I’d never talk to anyone without speaking to my club first. These are all stories that come from journalists so they don’t concern me.
On what the end of the project means to him
The end of the project is the end of the cycle. This cycle will inevitably have an end for reasons of time, transfers; just as is normal in any team. Within this cycle we will try to attain the highest results possible but like I’ve always said, this club can’t plan for a scudetto; it can dream of one. The length of the project depends little on me. You have to enter into the mind of the club and players. Even if we want to keep all our players we know that there are certain clubs above us that when they enter the playing field, it becomes difficult to hold onto them.
On the possibility of bringing in another keeper to compete with Reina
I think the same of the goalkeeper position as I do any other. It’s only right for there to be competition. I hope Reina’s good form continues both on the field and off. He’s an extremely important piece to our locker room. It’ll always be that way for me as long as he’s on my team. The fact that he’s at an age that in 2 o3 years will require the club to have a younger keeper is only a normal part of life. It doesn’t change much if he plays 40 instead of 48 matches. He’s one of the reasons why we are so good bringing the ball out at the back and is an important reference to the team on and off the pitch.
On fearing the possibility of losing specific players
I was only speaking in general terms. There are some instances where clubs will do everything to hold onto a player but if a team like Barcelona comes along, it becomes difficult to convince the player to stay. This doesn’t just regard us but 95% of European clubs. There are 7-10 clubs that have significantly greater economic resources than the others. This increases prices and can jeopardize the relationship between a club and its player.
On scudetto dreams providing an extra motivation for everybody to stay
I think they want to stay because they have fun playing like this. When you enter the pitch and have fun it’s difficult to imagine something different. Even during training they have fun. When a team has fun usually the people watching them do too. Whether this means we can get greater results than this, I’m not sure. We’ve scored 39 points in 16 matches. This year again we’ve scored more than 100 goals, set the club record for away victories and have 4 more points than last year. The team is doing well and the hope is that we can do even better. It depends also on the growth of the younger players.