Luciano Spalletti has stressed the importance of treating Wednesday's meeting with Ajax “as if it were a final” as Napoli look to continue their positive start to their Champions League campaign.
The Azzurri head into the Matchday 4 fixture with maximum points from their first three games, knowing that a draw will secure them qualification from Group A.
“Tomorrow we have the chance to seal our place in the knockout stages in front of our own fans but we know Ajax will be keen to show a reaction after the game in Amsterdam,” Spalletti warned.
“We must approach this game as if it were a final and play with desire and determination to try to win without thinking about what result might be enough for us. That approach has brought us good results so far and we mustn't change now.
“We have to make a strong start because we know how important it is to have the right focus and mindset when you play at this level in Europe.
“We perhaps played at a lower tempo against Cremonese than in our previous outings - and maybe our opponents deserve some credit for that. We certainly didn't look as sharp as we have on other occasions this season.
“That said, I'm confident we can get back to playing at our usual level immediately and produce the sort of performance that we expect from ourselves.”
Is Victor Osimhen ready to play again now?
“Victor is key to our team because he's a top player. He's training well and he's ready to play his part. Osimhen has to be one of the leaders of this team. We're lucky to have three forwards with different skill sets that complement each other and give us a range of options in attack.”
Do you think European football brings out the best in this Napoli team?
“The pace is certainly different in Europe. We realised a long time ago that we need to be playing on a European level to acquire the sort of experience we don't yet have. We need that European element to improve.”
Will you make changes to the team from Sunday?
“We will make some changes because it's impossible to start with the same players every game with so many fixtures back to back. However, I'm not going to tell you what we'll change because I want to tell the players first, as is right.
“Regardless of the match and who I pick, we have to produce consistent results. We have the potential to do well and we must keep improving so that we can maintain the sort of performance levels that will enable us to pursue the targets we set ourselves at the start of the campaign.”