On the eve of Napoli’s match against Genoa at the Stadio Marassi, Rudi Garcia spoke to the press at the SSCN Konami Training Centre.
“We’re solely focusing on tomorrow’s game. Genoa are a solid team and we’ll have to be at our best in terms of play and focus. Our aim is to win. We’ll have to give it our all to achieve that aim.
“The whole squad will be available despite the fact many of them only got back yesterday. But the good news is that there have been no injuries. [Matteo] Politano is slowly recovering from his muscle injury. He will be with us in Genoa.”
Will there be any changes to the team tomorrow?
“I’ll give the opportunity to those who deserve it and those who are ready for it. The starting line-up for Genoa will not be the same as it was for Lazio. Playing seven matches in 23 days is like running a marathon and we’ll need everyone available.”
Garcia commented on Giacomo Raspadori’s place in the team after he returned from a successful international break.
“The fact that Raspadori made the starting line-up for the first two matches and came on in the last 30 minutes against Lazio shows that he’s an important player for us. Victor Osimhen is our centre forward, but Jack has a technical versatility that allows him to play in more than one position, so he’ll be very useful when he gets his opportunity.”
Are you satisfied with what the team has done so far?
“I’m partly satisfied, but we definitely have to do more in terms of game management and our finishing. We’ve not scored much compared to the pressure and the chances we’ve created. We come out on top with regard to ball possession but not when it comes to finishing.
“We have to be better at exploiting our good moments by finding the goal. Lazio showed us that by scoring from the first real shots they had in an hour. However, we didn’t make the most out of the times we were on top form.”
Aurelio De Laurentiis has said that lots of work needs to be done. Do you agree?
“If that’s what the president has said, then he’s right. Obviously, we’ve only just started and there are lots of things to work on and lots of things we need to improve. Finishing is the most important aspect for me. There are stats that say we’re good at keeping the ball, but we have less goal-scoring ability.”
What did you think of Natan’s performance in training during the break?
“Natan is definitely more ready. In this break he’s earned back the time that he missed in pre-season. He’s also had an issue with his knee that’s now getting better. You often talk about Natan, but we also have Leo Ostigard. I certainly haven’t forgotten about him. Everyone is ready for this busy run of games.”
What type of match are you expecting tomorrow at Genoa?
“We’re up against a great team that’s ambitious after getting promoted. They’re strong defensively. They won 1-0 against Lazio and that shows how solid they are.
“We must show a lot of respect for Genoa and their stadium. But we also have to do everything possible to win, giving it 100% for this game tomorrow. Once again, we have to be much more efficient in front of goal and in the finishing phase.”
Are you worried about Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s partial lack of goals?
“I’m not at all worried about Kvara. The goals will come, and he’ll make a lot of assists. He didn’t have 90 minutes in him against Lazio, but I saw that he played both matches with Georgia, so he’s certainly improved his fitness in that respect.”
How do you see Stanislav Lobotka’s role?
“I think Lobotka was the best on the pitch in the game against Lazio. He’s physically fit and is a key player for us. He’s touched and will touch the ball many times as he has done before. We know that he’s often man-marked so we’ll have to adapt. His team-mates will also have to help him because it’s very risky to only have one game plan. I want 11 players who are capable of passing and finishing. That’s my idea of a team.”