Luciano Spalletti is confident about his side's potential as Napoli prepare to embark on a new Serie A campaign with much-changed personnel from last season.
“I'm convinced this team will make the fans fall in love with Napoli all over again,” the coach said at a media conference on Saturday, two days before the Azzurri visit Verona for their opening league fixture.
"When I came here last season and first met [Aurelio] De Laurentiis, he described a Napoli team in transition. The aims were to get back in the Champions League, play good football and bring down the age of the squad. We achieved all of that. It's been a good start.
"People are talking about the fact Napoli have lost players who have been very important over the last few years, but we've also brought in new players with great futures. None of that changes the fact we need to be ready to get results from day one.
"Being the coach of this new Napoli cycle is a responsibility I'm very happy to take. I find it highly motivating but obviously I can't offer any sort of guarantees in terms of our targets other than say we must always aim high – both for the passion of the city and the importance of this club.”
What are you expecting to happen in the rest of the transfer window?
"The club and I are on the same page. We know we still have work to do in these last two weeks of the transfer window. But we have to play now and there are points for the taking. Generally speaking things have been slow moving transfer-wise this summer and no one is spending crazy money. It will take time to get the right deals done.”
How do you feel about having to create something new at Napoli?
“I'm enjoying it immensely. Of course we need everyone to chip in because we have to reconstruct the right dynamics within the dressing room. When you lose experienced players as we have, you need to forge a new team spirit.
“Personally I'm not afraid of anything. I know I have top-quality players. Lots of them were here last season and they'll demonstrate their ability once again. We also have youngsters who will need time to develop because we'll be playing in the Champions League against the best clubs in Europe and Italy.
“I'm confident because I know what the players we've bought can do. I'm sure we'll see that over the course of the season.”
Where do you expect reinforcements? Are you happy with the signing of Giovanni Simeone?
"Simeone is a player we needed and this is the sort of club he needed at this stage of his career. He scored 17 goals last season with no penalties, which is quite an achievement.
"Sirigu has just joined and he's training with real intensity.
“I'm not going to talk about players who haven't joined us yet or who have been linked with the club because I have a lot of respect for the ones I have in the squad at the moment.”
What sort of game are you expecting against Verona?
“Verona have always been a tricky side for anyone to play against – especially in their own back yard. Anyone who thinks they'll have an easy time at the Bentegodi knows very little about football. Verona will have the bit between their teeth. We can expect a really tough encounter.”