Rudi Garcia believes Napoli have everything they need to defend their Scudetto crown as they prepare to kick off the campaign against Frosinone on Saturday evening.

Read on to find out what the boss had to say to journalists the day before the game...

How do you feel going into this opening match?

"We can't wait to get out there and start playing. We know Frosinone will be tricky opponents as they'll riding a wave of enthusiasm after winning Serie B last year. They'll be really up for it and we must match them with at least as much desire and determination.”

What happened to Khvicha Kvaratskhelia?

“We're leaving him out of this one but only as a precaution. He's had a few niggles in pre-season and today he felt a bit of discomfort. We prefer not to take any risks so we'll have him resume training next week.”

Do you fear the team might not have the same motivation after last season's success?

“I think winning the Scudetto has given this team even more confidence but the flip-side is the potential risk of easing off. I want to see us on the ball mentally and physically from the get-go tomorrow. We must look to impose our game and win. That's the only mindset we should have.”

Are you happy with the squad you have or do you expect any more signings?

"I don't want to talk about transfers as that's not our concern right now. I'm focused only on tomorrow's game.”

Do you think Napoli are favourites for the title?

“I think we're among the favourites but not the only ones. Besides, if the favourites won the league every season, I don't think Napoli would have been champions last year. Football matches are decided on the pitch, not by predictions.

“What matters to me is having a squad of great players and new players who come in and add something to the team. Everyone must prove they're up to the task and they all start on the same level with me. I'm a new coach and all of my players have to give everything they have to earn their place in the team.”

Have you been positively surprised by anyone in particular?

“I've inherited a group of talented, quality footballers. Having got to know them, they're also a great group of lads who are keen to work hard and put the team before themselves. I've been surprised by how diligent they all are. They listen to everything you say to them and want to improve constantly.

“I'm happy with the attitude they've shown and the work we've done. It's the start of a new chapter and we have to show what we're about from the very first page. No excuses.”

Will we see Napoli playing with any new Garcia ideas against Frosinone?

“You'll find out tomorrow. But don't forget that tomorrow is only one 38th of the league season. What I do want to see immediately is the right attitude. With time we'll refine our tactical ideas.”

Are Natan and Jens Cajuste on the same level as the others physically and technically?

"I think they need time to settle in, to understand the language and get used to Italian football. But I'm very happy with their contribution and I'm sure they'll give us strength and quality. They could lend a hand from the bench tomorrow.”

Who will take Kvara's place?

“I have various options: [Giacomo] Raspadori, [Elif] Elmas or even [Hirving] Lozano – he played on the left for several seasons at PSV and did well. I need versatile players and I have a few of them here. Whoever plays has to perform and have confidence in their ability. What I can say is that Raspadori will definitely start tomorrow.”

Share the article with your friends and support the team

Share the article with your friends and support the team

URL Copied to clipboard!