Napoli manager Walter Mazzarri has heaped praise on Pescara’s Christian Bucchi ahead of the two teams’ Serie A meeting on Saturday.
The upcoming opponents are enjoying vastly different fortunes with Napoli seven points clear in second and their hosts rooted to the bottom of the table.
Pescara are facing relegation to Italy’s second tier after just one season but Mazzarri believes the job done by former Napoli striker Bucchi since replacing Cristiano Bergodi has been exceptional and is wary of complacency creeping into his team.
“Pescara played so well against Roma,” he said. “Pescara are playing very well since (Christian) Bucchi’s arrival – unfortunately he arrived late.
“It was clear he would have become a good coach, even when he was with us, he’s an intelligent guy and I pay my compliments to him.
“They lost some points on the way, they were a bit unlucky sometimes, but they’ve always played their game and I’m afraid that with them being the last team in the table, my team could relax and think it will be an easy game.
“If we approach tomorrow’s game with this attitude, we would put on a very bad show on the pitch.
“That’s what I said to my squad and what I’m saying to you now and I’ll do everything I can not to see this happen.”
The Italian tactician, who joined the dual Serie A champions in 2009, also spoke about his time at Napoli to date.
“Napoli is a complicated team, a peculiar and fascinating team and club,” he added.
“When I arrived here at Napoli I came with great enthusiasm because it was a tough challenge for me, we all know how difficult it is to play and be a coach here at Napoli and this gave me further determination to go on and do well.
“Now that I’ve been here and I’ve managed to work here it’s a great experience that I’ll bring with me everywhere I go for the rest of my career.”