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Pandev predicting bright future under Benitez

Goran Pandev believes that Napoli can continue to challenge Juventus for the Serie A title under new manager Rafael Benitez.

The Macedonia international was not a regular starter under Benitez during their time together at Inter in 2010, but he hopes to play a major role in the upcoming season.

Spaniard Benitez was only appointed as the club’s new boss seven weeks ago, but Pandev has already seen enough to convince him that he is the right man to lead Napoli to success.

“Rafa has won much, we have to follow him,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I’m pleased that the manager thinks I’ve improved from the time at Inter.

“I want to win trophies because the Coppa Italia seems nothing as Napoli can achieve much more. We have to win more important trophies.”

Benitez has already given an indication of how he intends to use Pandev this season, and the forward is relishing the chance to play in his preferred position.

“The manager sees me behind the strikers, as a trequartista,” he said. “And that’s the position I prefer, but I’m always prepared to sacrifice myself and play (on the) wing.”

As well as a new manager, last season’s Serie A runners-up have seen a major change in personnel, including losing Edinson Cavani to Paris St-Germain.

But the 29-year-old is confident that they can do well, even without the influential Uruguay striker.

“I expect that the board will buy new good strikers,” he added. “It will be a hard season and there will be place for everyone.

“Cavani scored many goals and we have to thank him, I would have preferred him to stay and to win with us. Now it’s up to us not to let the team feel his absence.”

Sun 21 Jul, 2013
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