Rudi Garcia assures Napoli ‘are on the right track’ after a 4-0 demolition of Lecce and reveals Victor Osimhen is not the only player handing off penalty duties. ‘I think I like it better this way!’

The Partenopei seem to have put their crisis well and truly behind them, netting four goals in the last two games against Udinese and Lecce.

“We controlled the game well. We wanted to start strong, score in the opening 15 minutes and I am glad the opener game from a free kick, as my staff had identified that was the area where we could hurt them,” Garcia told DAZN.

Leo Ostigard and Natan made their second consecutive start as a central defensive partnership, which was forced by injuries to Juan Jesus and Amir Rrahmani.

“Natan arrived very late in the summer, so did Jesper Lindstrom, so they were not ready for the start of the season. Fortunately, Natan did not have international duty, so he was able to understand our philosophy and now he is gaining confidence.

“Centre-backs can play every three days a lot easier than those who run more. Natan is very intelligent and was able to quickly understand what we wanted from him.

“Since I met Ostigard, he has always been focused on the collective, so I am very happy that he got his first goal. We also controlled the squad rotation, Victor came on with fresh legs, scored the second goal, then Gianluca Gaetano scored his first on his return to his beloved Napoli.

“We kept a clean sheet too, now we will see if we finish this weekend in the top four or not. Let’s just say we learned the lesson from Genoa.”

Garcia was asked if Napoli players had shaken off the hangover from winning their first Scudetto in 30 years and were now fully focused on the current campaign.

“It could be. We started the season with six points out of six, had a great first half against Lazio and then lost in the second, even if we didn’t deserve that defeat.

“I think everyone is getting back to their level, such as Anguissa and Kvaratskhelia, who over the last three games have really been back at their best. That helps the whole team to find more consistency.

“I was always pretty relaxed about the fact the results would come, because they played well and showed an important team spirit. We dropped a few points along the way, but we are on the right track.”

Piotr Zielinski provided the assist for Ostigard’s goal with a well-taken free kick.

“You recognise the importance of a player like Zielinski when he is absent. He knows how to do so many things, has that vision and can make it happen quicker than others.”

Osimhen was initially on the bench, but came on and added the second goal with his header on a Kvicha Kvaratskhelia cross.

However, when Napoli received a penalty in stoppages, Osimhen again handed it over to a teammate, this time Matteo Politano.

Considering Garcia said that the Nigerian is still their first-choice penalty taker, is Osimhen actively avoiding the responsibility of a spot-kick after the TikTok video mocking his miss against Bologna?

“Not today, he was not the first choice seeing as he didn’t start the game, but someone else handed it to Politano. In any case, I usually write a list so there is an order and no war over who takes a penalty. Here it feels like the reverse, they are in a race to hand the ball over to someone else, I think I like it better that way!”

With the upcoming Champions League clash against Real Madrid in mind, Kvaratskhelia and Osimhen were only together for 15 minutes today.

“Today is Serie A, we have three days and a press conference before the Champions League. We are satisfied with this victory, there were no injuries and the most important thing now is to recover so on Tuesday night we can give our best in front of our fans.”

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