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Conte ready to attack Napoli challenge with ´seriousness´

SoccerNews in Serie A 26 Jun 2024

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Antonio Conte is relishing the “challenge” of the Napoli job and has promised the fans a “seriousness” in his approach to getting the club back among the contenders in Serie A.

The Italian, who returned to management after a 15-month absence following his departure from Tottenham, was unveiled to the fans for the first time after signing a three-year contract with the club earlier this month.

The Partenopei won the Scudetto with five games to spare in 2022-23 but could not follow that success up last season as they stumbled through their title defence.

Napoli went through three managers last season after Luciano Spalletti’s departure in June 2023, with Rudi Garcia and Walter Mazzarri getting fired before Calzona oversaw the last few months of the campaign.

In the end, they finished 10th, outside the extended European places, with Conte confident Napoli will get back on top form.

“It’ll take time and patience. I am of the ‘those who have time don’t wait for time’,” Conte said. “We will try in every way to take this responsibility. This is the project. It gave me great enthusiasm, I felt something in my stomach.

“Definitely a challenge that comes at the right time. I think I’m a coach who has gained experience, which leads me to face this fascinating challenge with great desire. One person asked me: ‘But aren’t you afraid to go and coach Napoli?’ Afraid of what?

“For me, it’s a pleasure, knowing the difficulty of the challenge. Those who know me know that no one has ever given me anything. Ever. What I have won, I always won with sweat and sacrifice. It’s what my parents taught me, and it’s what I try to pass on to my daughter and my players.

“I know that this challenge comes at the right time for me as a person because I really want to enjoy this passion and enthusiasm.

“Because for me the difficult thing will be to change this enthusiasm and this passion, but I’m convinced that I can do it because I will put everything I have into it, as I have done in the past. That is clear.”

Napoli fans became restless with their season as they won just 13 of their matches and finished on 53 points, 37 fewer than they won under Spalletti in his final year.

“What I can promise is seriousness, a word that is often underestimated. Seriousness in giving everything for Napoli, in transmitting my culture at work, my mentality.

“The transmission of my footballing ideas. The goal of a coach, besides excelling, is to make his fans proud.

“But in defeat, there mustn’t be the extenuating circumstance of not having given our best. What I can promise is that we’ll give our best, more than our best, because sometimes the best is not enough.”

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