Walter Mazzarri has played down descriptions of his Napoli team as the ‘anti-Juve’, referring to their rivalry with league leaders Juventus.
Napoli are second on the Serie A table, just two points behind reigning champions Juve, prompting some observers to designate Mazzarri’s men as the main obstacle standing between the Turin giants and a second successive Scudetto.
Napoli face bottom of the table Pescara on Sunday, with coach Mazzarri seeking to keep the media’s focus on the pitch.
“I do not care too much about what others say about us, I just want to get the best out of my players and then see where we are at the end of the season,” Mazzarri said.
“I am pleased that the players respect me, I have always been relaxed around them. They know how hard tomorrow’s game will be, as we know anything could happen.”
Mazzarri also took the time to praise Lorenzo Insigne, who went out on loan to Pescara last season and made a name for himself by helping them win promotion.
“He is a mature lad who has understood that he must help the team and not care about what critics say,” he said.
“Not everyone realises that Serie A is a huge step up from Serie B, but that is why I think that Insigne has done so well.”