After receiving the best possible birthday present from his team – three points against Udinese, earned by Tiemoue Bakayoko’s late goal – Gennaro Gattuso praised the reaction of the Napoli players after the defeat last time out against Spezia.
"The team is alive – it wasn’t easy to win this game today," the coach said.
He added: "The result on Wednesday was a blow, so it was difficult to pick ourselves up again. But we showed today that we can react – to come here and win is a good show of character.
"We were always on the front foot – the stats demonstrate our level of performance. I also saw strength and personality that I'm pleased with.
"We have to improve and improve a great deal, however, because we’re not always ready to react when things go wrong. The team needs to improve from a mental standpoint.
"I know that we’re still not showing our full potential, and that’s also down to the issue of character. We need to work, rather than listening to what’s being said.
"Napoli is a passionate but demanding environment – we need to focus our energy on the field and not on listening to what people are saying. Our focus needs to be solely on the pitch and the work we’re doing during the week."
(Photo Getty Images)