Napoli are coming off consecutive 5-0 wins, one in the Europa League and one over Lazio, and many Napoli fans are already starting to forget the club's early-season woes. Not so fast, says Maurizio Sarri. Napoli are better, but they're not out of the woods yet.
I was a little worried about the start to the season, and I don’t think that all the problems we have, have been solved.
We are improving and now we have another difficult game coming up. I think the team has grown in confidence and is fitter.
-Source: Gazzetta World
The emphasis added is mine, and frankly it's my favorite thing he's said since he was hired. Too many managers would just gloss over any lingering weaknesses in their teams after a pair of matches like this, then go "aw, SHUCKS, how'd that happen?" when those same weaknesses screw the team later on down the line.
Instead, Sarri is admitting that they're there, and heavily implies that while things look good, he's still going to keep working on improving the team's soft spots. You get the sense from Sarri that him saying he wants to work on a problem isn't just lip service -- but of course, that will have to be judged by how the defense performs over the coming weeks, starting against Carpi, a team that Sarri isn't as confident as some about beating.
In the past this team has made too many mistakes in matches like this. Carpi are a hard team to deal with, we have to be ready, knowing what we’ll find. Action-by-action, we have to try and move this game to our favor.
I definitely don’t expect a lot of chances, this is not an easy match. With Fiorentina they missed chances, they deserved a different result.
-Source: Football Italia
A Napoli manager acknowledging the club's weakness against provincial teams and seeming to try to plan for it? Oh, be still my heart. Again, though, saying you want to do it is different than actually doing it. So please, Sarri: put your money where your mouth is. Make it three straight 5-0's.