Miguel Britos has reflected that Napoli are still smarting from their defeat to Inter, but have learned their lesson.
The Partenopei held most of the ball during last weekend’s League clash at San Siro, but came away with a 2-1 defeat to their name, much to their frustration.
“There is a lot of anger after the defeat to Inter, we did not deserve to lose. We had nailed them,” commented centre-back Britos.
“We are angry, there was a great opportunity to send a message in the title race. Mazzarri prepared well for the game, we did not expect that pattern of play for [Fredy] Guarin’s goal.”
In the eighth minute of the match, the Colombian found himself in a large amount of space in the penalty box, able to volley in a corner for 1-0, after an untracked run.
“But, we fell asleep a little bit and could have done better. Again, though, we were better than Inter, we are motivated again and we want to win against Bologna [this Sunday].
“The title race? Juventus are strong and deserve to be at the summit, but we want to have our say. Napoli’s strength is in the collective. Behrami and Gamberini have been important signings, we want to play on a par with Juve and Inter.
“The Bianconeri are a little further ahead, we need to improve our concentration. With Milan, for example, we should not have allowed that comeback. We were 2-0 ahead.”
Sunday’s opponents carry significance, with Britos having spent three years with the club and Walter Mazzarri having made his debut on the Napoli bench against them in October 2009.
“I remember that well, I was in red and blue and we were cheated,” joked the defender, before reflecting of last year’s defeat to the Rossoblu that saw Napoli lose their hold on the third and final Champions League qualification spot.
“They were already saved from relegation, but they were protagonists in the game and I have nothing to say, and rightly so. For us, it was a painful defeat, and it will be one more reason for us to be motivated.
“The imperative is for us to win. We have learned our lesson against Inter - sometimes you do not have to play well in order to win. We are a great team. We want to win against Bologna and end the year with three consecutive wins.
“I have excellent memories of my time there, they took me to this level of football, I spent three wonderful years there and I am grateful to the club.
“Will I score a goal? Maybe. I won’t celebrate though, out of respect for my former teammates.”
Britos could see teammates Paolo Cannavaro and Gianluca Grava banned for the rest of the season by the Disciplinary Commission should they be adjudged to have played a part in the betting scandal.
“Honestly, I do not know much, I have read something, but I’m no expert. There is a little anger but also fear, we do not want to lose two important players like Cannavaro and Grava.
“They are innocent. We are more united now and will continue to work with the same desire.”
The defender was finally then asked about next Thursday’s Europa League draw. The Vesuviani are unseeded for that and could face a big name in the Round of 32.
“Personally, I would like to face Chelsea. I was injured last year [for the Champions League Last 16 meeting between the two clubs]. They eliminated us from Europe and we would like some revenge.
“It’s a good competition, I’d like to win it.”