Consistency must be the watchword, insists Luciano Spalletti, as Napoli prepare to return to domestic duties in the wake of their spectacular midweek victory over Liverpool.
Speaking to the media ahead of Saturday's game against Spezia, the coach stressed that one great result doesn't make you a great team – and says the onus must be on putting in the same sort of performance week in, week out.
"We need to be properly focused in every game, regardless of the opponent. We produced a superb performance on the big stage against Liverpool but if we want to be successful, we must show that same attitude at all times – starting with Spezia.”
How much of an impact will Victor Osimhen's injury have?
"We have other players just as good who can step up in Victor's absence until he recovers. [Giovanni] Simeone and [Giacomo] Raspadori are in good form and whoever plays will be up to the task.”
Spezia beat Napoli at the Maradona last season...
"Spezia pack in around the man on the ball and they're very good on the break. No matter how our opponents play, we must remember what happened last season and be careful not to give chances away. We must be just as perfect as we were against Liverpool.
"There are three points to play for in every match and since we're ambitious we must try to win every one, not just on the big occasions. We have to go out there with our minds set on winning, and focus on our own ability rather than who we're up against.
"If you want to be competitive, you have to do it in the long run. It's the matches we still have to play that will tell us how good we are, not the ones we've played already. That's what makes the difference. We have to be the same whether it's red shirts or white shirts we're up against.
Could Tanguy Ndombele play in a 4-3-3 tomorrow?
"Ndombele is much better. He's growing in confidence as he gets to know his team-mates and the way we play. He's a midfielder who can play both in the centre and off centre. He's very good playing the ball forward as he understands the runs his team-mates are going to make.”
The atmosphere at the Stadio Maradona was tremendous on Wednesday – like the old times.
"I hope my players are always capable of producing spectacular football and exciting the fans as they did the other night. I always hoped our fans would fall in love with Napoli again. The support and energy they provide can be crucial for a young team like ours.
"The most important match to see what sort of team we are is the one that started in August and finishes in May. One match doesn't determine the destiny or the future of a team. The real match lasts a season and only at the end will we find out if we've become a great team.”