Key defender Kalidou Koulibaly believes Carlo Ancelotti could infuse Napoli with the winning mentality absent from last season’s unsuccessful title tilt.
Napoli appeared to have a strong chance of snatching last season’s Scudetto when Koulibaly headed a late winner in Turin to swing the momentum away from Juventus with four matches remaining.
Dropped points against Fiorentina and Torino in the following two games quickly ended the challenge as Maurizio Sarri’s tenure finished in deflating fashion.
Ancelotti has since taken over and, though Koulibaly is thankful for the “beautiful” impact Sarri had on his development, the Senegal international believes Napoli might now have acquired the necessary ruthlessness.
“[Ancelotti] has won a lot, but what surprises me most is the humility and desire to keep winning he still has,” the 27-year-old told Corriere dello Sport.
“Perhaps he gives us what was missing last year: the mentality, the desire to amaze everyone. He wants to win, when he talks he transmits this energy to us and we are drawn to it.
“I don’t think you will ever hear a player speak of ill of him, because he has great values and conveys serenity.
“I always say to my wife that I hope to be a similar person to him when I’m his age.”
— Official SSC Napoli (@en_sscnapoli) October 24, 2018
Napoli already face a difficult task to loosen Juve’s grip on the silverware having slipped four points off the pace across the opening nine games.
Koulibaly and his team-mates will seek a third successive Serie A victory when seventh-placed Roma visit Stadio San Paolo on Sunday.
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