Maurizio Sarri has immediately dismissed talk of a Napoli challenge for the Serie A title despite his side’s stunning 5-0 win over Lazio on Sunday.
The head coach insisted hopes of a Scudetto push were unrealistic, with the thumping victory their first win in four games of the new league season.
Gonzalo Higuain scored twice as Napoli recorded a morale-boosting win over a side who finished third last season, but Sarri remained grounded after the triumph.
He told Mediaset Premium: “I know in Naples that word [Scudetto] gets bandied about easily, but it seems ridiculous to be saying that now.
“I don’t think all the problems we had have suddenly been solved even though we are improving – the team has grown in confidence and is fitter.
“We did well and approached the game the right way. We immediately pinned back our opponents and when we got to 2-0 up it was easier, especially as Lazio were coming back from a match in Ukraine on Thursday.”
Sarri also pointed to the success of his 4-3-3 formation, which produced the second 5-0 win in the space of a week after the same result was achieved against Club Brugge in the Europa League – a successful switch from the team’s previous 4-3-1-2 shape.
“Defensively the 4-3-3 gives us something more,” explained the former Empoli boss. “We will practice both systems in training, but clearly if this one continues to provide these performances, we won’t change it again.
“We never changed our idea of football, we just changed a few starting positions. Jose Callejon and Dries Mertens work better in this formation.”
The 56-year-old was again asked to respond to club legend Diego Maradona, who claimed Napoli would not win trophies with him at the helm.
Sarri gave a similar response to the one he had given earlier in the week, saying: “Maradona can think and say whatever he likes. He is and remains my idol.”
Napoli travel to play struggling Carpi in their next Serie A clash on Wednesday.