Serie A TIM


Carlo Ancelotti spoke to the media during his first press conference of the new season at the club's training camp in Dimaro.

We want to improve on last season because I don't think we expressed out full potential last term. I'm confident Napoli will be even better this year. We have a clearer idea of what we want to do and we'll build on the good things we did last season, albeit not consistently enough."

Our basic idea is to play good football. This team has always played good football and we'll continue along that path. The club wants to further strengthen the squad and add even more technical ability.

How important will the Manolas-Koulibaly partnership be in that respect?

First of all, I'd like to thank [Raul] Albiol for his professionalism and everything he gave this club. [Kostas] Manolas is a fantastic defender and he and [Kalidou] Koulibaly will form a formidable centre-back pairing together. Besides their defensive ability, they'll also enable us to play a more aggressive attacking game as we'll be able to defend one-on-one at the back.”

What do you think of Giovanni Di Lorenzo?

Di Lorenzo has come on loads in the last few years and I think he'll keep on improving at a club like Napoli. I'm sure he'll come in very handy.”

What is Napoli's target for the season?

Our aim is to raise the bar, to win and bring enthusiasm at the San Paolo. We ended last season with an excellent performance against Inter and I think we need to pick up from there. If we can perform like that consistently, we'll go a long way.

Napoli are the only club from the top six that hasn't changed coach this summer. Will this be Ancelotti's year? 

I hope Ancelotti will have lots of years! I certainly go into the new campaign with more awareness and fewer question marks than last season. I've got to know the players and the club, which wants to keep growing and is aiming for the top. We already have a very strong squad and we'll add to it with some careful acquisitions to ensure we further improve.”

Will a centre-forward be one of your main reinforcements?

Let's not forget that we already have two centre-forwards in [Arek] Milik and [Dries] Mertens. They've done well the last few years and scored lots of goals so we're not looking specifically for a centre-forward. We're looking for players who can improve the squad regardless of their position.

Are you looking for a midfielder?

In midfield we have Allan, who's a powerful player, and two very skilful footballers in [Fabian] Ruiz and [Piotr] Zielinksi. We'll try to sign another midfielder with the right attributes. The club and I are on the same page regarding the moves we want to make. There's no hurry. It's a long summer and we'll do what we have in mind in order to improve this squad.

What do you think about the friendly double-header with Barcelona in the United States? 

It's a great thing the club has organised and it will be good to test ourselves against top-quality opposition on the other side of the world. Our friendly matches will be a useful experience for our players.

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