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Sunday January 12 2014
Benitez: 'Napoli proved strength'

Rafa Benitez said Napoli’s impressive 3-0 victory over Hellas Verona “proves we are still a strong side.”

Lorenzo Insigne scored his first Serie A goal of the season at the Stadio Bentegodi this afternoon.

“Insigne’s goal and the clean sheet were both good news. Verona had won all but one game at home, so having won like this proves we are still a strong side,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“We look to the next match and our closest target in the table is Roma. We’ll see where we end up, but the important thing is to continue along this path.

“The players know that if they work hard all week, then they could have the opportunity to play. If our important players return from injury, then we’ll be even stronger with even more choices.”

Insigne is the first Italian to score a Serie A goal for Napoli this season, so does this rob something from the club’s roots?

“At the start when talking to the President and Riccardo Bigon, we talked about getting in top level Italians. Unfortunately, there aren’t many of them on the market, as the clubs who have them tend to hold on tight.

“It would’ve been better to have local players from Naples in the side, or even just Italian, but we have to look at the opportunities the market presents.

“The passion of the Scousers is similar to the Neapolitans. They talk differently and feel for their football team very intensely. I learned a few words in Neapolitan, which are similar to Spanish, but the accent is difficult! When they talk among themselves even the Italians can’t understand anything!”

Benitez was asked about the transfer strategy for the Partenopei in January, but shrugged off all questions.

“Would Napoli be even better with another defender and midfielder? If we have 13 players on the pitch, then I expect we will win more games!

“The first real market we’ll have is to get the likes of Pepe Reina and Marek Hamsik back, then we’ll see if we anything on top of that.”

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