Marco Giampaolo spoke in the pre-match press conference on the eve of Napoli-Sampdoria.
The Blucerchiati's coach is no fool and doesn’t buy into the theory that Napoli are vulnerable at the moment. Carlo Ancelotti’s side host Sampdoria at the San Paolo on Saturday having failed to score in two matches against AC Milan – a 0-0 in Serie A last weekend followed by their Coppa Italia elimination in midweek – yet the Blucerchiati boss won’t be lulled into a false sense of security. “Nothing is ever easy in Serie A – this is a very even league. Napoli have a fantastic home record – they haven’t lost yet. They have some incredibly talented players and it will be very tough but when the match kicks off it will be 11 v 11, with each side looking to play to their strengths.”
Giampaolo went on to praise Ancelotti for the job he has done since taking over the reins from Maurizio Sarri last summer. “I think the hardest thing for a coach to do is dismantle and rebuild a team that was successful with a previous manager. Only someone like Ancelotti was capable of doing that. They’ve become more creative and versatile under his stewardship – they’re less predictable now.”
Meanwhile Sampdoria continue to nurture their own ambitions of qualifying for Europe and head into the game in sixth place. “We must be consistent. Sampdoria must play the Sampdoria way, without surrendering our playing principles. That’s the only way we’ll be able to achieve a target that would be an incredible feat.”
Finally, the boss commented on Fabio Quagliarella’s phenomenal scoring streak – 11 consecutive Serie A games – and the possibility that he could set a new all-time record against Napoli on Saturday. “I think Fabio would swap setting a new Serie A record with a good result for us tomorrow but if I were his team-mate I’d do everything possible to help him rewrite history so I could say I was there when he did it. Because then people would say, ‘That was Quagliarella’s Sampdoria.’”
(Photo Getty Images)