Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri will not adjust his tactics to suit Manolo Gabbiadini, insisting the striker must adapt to fit in with the team’s style.
Sarri’s side have lost back-to-back Serie A games heading into Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Besiktas, with Gabbiadini struggling to replace the injured Poland international Arkadiusz Milik.
Gabbiadini has only scored one goal this season, but with Milik expected to be out for several months and Gonzalo Higuain having been sold to Juventus, he will shoulder the goalscoring burden for his side and Sarri backed the 24-year-old to thrive.
“Manolo must adapt to the playing style of this team,” Sarri told his pre-match media conference. “A coach cannot change a whole team for one player.
“He is facing a difficult period but it happens to every footballer sooner or later and I’m sure he will find a solution.
“There a few players who are still recovering from knocks after the game against Roma so I will have to take a few decisions after today’s training.”
Sarri suggested motivating his players will be easier in the Champions League than in Serie A, with his team in pole position in Group B after wins against Dynamo Kiev and Benfica in their opening two games.
“We are confident that we can return to the real Napoli very soon especially because we feel that we are fully aware of what we have done wrong recently,” Sarri said.
“In sport it’s enough to give up two per cent of your best to give your opponents the chance to beat you and this is exactly what happened in recent weeks.
“Maybe it’s easier for us to play in Europe because it’s easier to find motivation in Champions League games. This is not the most difficult period for me at Napoli.
“I know it’s not an easy moment but I’m less worried than last season because now I know my players well, I know they can understand and analyse what they are doing wrong and I’m confident that we will find solutions together.
“Tomorrow I would like to see my team playing with enthusiasm despite the recent results. We will also need to be very focused because we are facing a strong side who are difficult to beat as their results are there to witness.
“Besiktas played two good games in the group. I especially liked their performance in Lisbon as they never gave up even when they were struggling against Benfica.”
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