Wednesday, 23 October 2013

'Napoli playing at 75 per cent' - Benitez

  'Napoli playing at 75 per cent' - Benitez

'Napoli playing at 75 per cent' - Benitez

Following the Partenopei's 2-1 win over Marseille, the Spaniard says his team adhering to a pre-game plan reaped the rewards on Tuesday

Rafa Benitez has claimed that Napoli are still only playing at 75 per cent on the back of their eighth win in 11 matches on Tuesday.

Goals from Jose Callejon and Duvan Zapata saw the Partenopei defeat Olympique de Marseille 2-1 in the Champions League, ensuring Andre Ayew's strike late in the game was just a consolation.

Benitez, whose side lost both of their last two away games heading into the European clash in France, was pleased with his players' reaction, dedication and commitment to his pre-match plan.

"I am satisfied because we won, but it seems easy for me to choose a player like Dries Mertens when he works so hard in training," the ex-Liverpool and Chelsea boss told Sky Sport.

"Duvan Zapata gets better every day and Gonzalo Higuain doesn’t have full match fitness yet, so it was only right to give him a chance.

"We’re at 75 per cent now. The players sacrificed themselves and worked hard all over the pitch. We know that when we work all together, we can achieve something.

"My staff worked well to analyse the opposition and everyone knew the tactical plan. I think that is the key, as if you prepare it on the whiteboard and the players follow those instructions, they know where to be and what to do."

Napoli - who sit third in Group F but level on points with first and second - face a home tie with Marseille in their next European outing, followed by a trip to current leaders Borussia Dortmund before a final clash at the Stadio San Paolo against Arsenal.

"We talked before the game about the group and why this was a fundamental match for us," Benitez added. "We have another two games at home and one away, so we’ll see what happens.

"The team proved this evening it can handle and control this type of test." ---------------

No comments:

Post a Comment