Luciano Spalletti took stock of the team's winter training camp as they prepare to face Crystal Palace in their second and final Turkey friendly on Sunday. The Azzurri have been working at Regnum Carya, near Antalya, since 1 December and beat local side Antalyaspor 3-2 on Wednesday.
“Antalyaspor was a good test for us because they have an excellent coach who's able to convey the qualities he had as a player to his own players,” Spalletti reflected. “We played well, paying attention to the tactical changes we tried to implement. We did everything well.
“Tomorrow we'll be up against an even better team in Crystal Palace. They also have a coach who was an incredible player and I'm sure [Patrick] Vieira will have instilled his character in his team. It's going to be a tough test against top-quality opponents.
"We'll look to test a few new ideas again. We have to make the most of this period to try out new things that can be useful during the season. We have a clear playing philosophy now so it's the right time to test out some valid alternatives.
“I assess my day's work based on the level of football my team produces. We're trying to become an even better team by adding extra strings to our bow and in that sense we've used our time excellently. We've also been aided by our marketing staff, who have created the ideal conditions for us to work here.
“I'm happy with our time spent in Turkey because it's given us the chance to take a breather and recharge after going flat out since the start of the season. It will help us to go again strong with confidence.”
When will the players involved in the World Cup return?
“They have two weeks off from their last game at the World Cup before reporting back.”
Will Napoli do any transfer business in January? It's been rumoured Diego Demme will leave...
“Ideally we wouldn't let anyone go or bring anyone in, but if someone should want to leave, then we'll assess things. I'd like Demme to stay because although he hasn't played a lot, partly due to injury, he's an important member of our squad. But the idea is to remain as we are because we have strength in depth.
“I'd like to thank the owner of the facilities here at Regnum Carya, Ali Şafak Öztürk. He welcomed us into his home and provided us with everything we needed. It was a pleasure talking football with him. He's the owner of a football club and a massive fan of the game so he understood our needs. We'll be very happy to show him the same courtesy when he visits us at the Stadio Maradona."