Luciano Spalletti insists his team must channel all their energy and focus into Sunday's match against Cremonese.
The Azzurri host Serie A's basement club with the added motivation of avenging their recent Coppa Italia defeat and a Champions League last-16 tie against Eintracht Frankfurt looming
"Our present is Cremonese and tomorrow is a crucial game for our season," Luciano Spalletti told the media at his pre-match press conference.
Do you think the team might already have the Champions League match in mind?
"No, there are too many reasons to focus on Cremonese. We need all our time and energy for tomorrow's match. They knocked us out of the Coppa Italia and we saw what a good side they are.”
Is this a key moment in the Scudetto race and for your team to show their maturity?
“We're taking each game as it come so right now we're thinking about Cremonese, We're not thinking any further ahead. Tomorrow we'll be up against a team who have shown they're capable of staying in the game against great sides like Juventus and Inter. They're real scrappers and it's hard to deal the knockout blow.
"We know how important this game is for us because expectations are always bigger when Napoli are in the running for the Scudetto. We must keep building up our self-confidence, enthusiasm and authority.”
What did you learn from your Coppa Italia defeat to Cremonese?
"We were very disappointed because we wanted to show how good the likes of [Gianluca] Gaetano, [Alessio] Zerbin, [Karim] Zedadka, [Bartosz] Bereszynski and others who have played less are. The Coppa Italia is a competition where we would have been able to give some of our squad players more experience. It's a shame we missed out on that opportunity as it would have been useful.
“It's an additional reason for us to want to win and to be focused on playing quick, incisive football to pierce through their defensive lines.”
If Napoli were to achieve something special, would you possibly extend your contract with Napoli?
"Right now my contract is a tiny detail compared to the huge possibility we have before us. All that matters is what we do in the league.”
Are you producing the best football of your career with this Napoli side?
“To determine whether I'm doing my job well, I analyse the players, not my work. By looking at them, I understand if I'm telling them the right things. Any credit of mine or reflection on me is the result of the intelligence, performance, strength and commitment of my players.
“So far there has been very little to criticise this team for because the atmosphere and the results have been excellent. The lads' behaviour in the dressing room and on the pitch demonstrate the balance, the harmony and the human qualities within this group.
"However, in football it's all about the present – not the past or the future. Our present is Cremonese and that's all that matters, nothing else. Our fans give us that little extra, so knowing the stadium will be full tomorrow makes us happy and also stronger.
“It fills us with joy to see our fans happy and makes us even sadder that we won't have them against Sassuolo in Reggio Emilia next week.”