Victor Osimhen thanks Luciano Spalletti for the ‘inspiration and advice,’ assuring Napoli feel they can fight it out with anyone in Serie A or the Champions League.
The Nigeria international spoke to Radio Kiss Kiss after a strange week for the Partenopei, as following the 5-1 demolition of Juventus, they were then knocked out of the Coppa Italia Round of 16 by Cremonese in a penalty shoot-out.
“We want to achieve important objectives and we need the support of the fans, because their affection is extraordinary,” said Osimhen.
“We’re disappointed with the Coppa Italia elimination, but in football you can have off days. We must look forward and continue giving our best in Serie A.
“The win over Juventus was a marvellous night with a fantastic atmosphere. What makes me happy is seeing the joy of the Napoli fans. Salernitana will be another tough test, but we want to win and continue our run at the top of the table.”
Napoli are the runaway leaders, already crowned Winter Champions and nine points clear of the chasing pack going into this weekend, which will mark the midway point of the season.
“The Scudetto has been our objective since the start of the season and we concentrate on one game at a time,” continued the striker.
“It is very important for me to be considered a leader in this team and I want to keep repaying those who had faith in me. I am not the only leader here, naturally, because there are also players like Di Lorenzo, Mario Rui and Meret. We need to all work in the same direction, because I am convinced we can go far.”
They have also qualified for the Champions League Round of 16 against Eintracht Frankfurt after winning five out of six games, topping the group ahead of Liverpool.
“The Champions League is a very prestigious tournament, we want to keep going along the right track, even if we should meet the biggest clubs in Europe, because we feel that we are ready for any challenge and know we’re up to the task.”
His teammate Kvicha Kvaratskhelia has made a huge impact in his debut season with Napoli, although injury means he is at risk for this weekend’s local derby against Salernitana.
“Kvara is incredible and has so much talent, though I’ve played with a lot of technically-gifted players here like Lorenzo Insigne and Dries Mertens. Kvara is still young and deserves all the praise he is receiving, but I hope this is only the beginning for him. We work well together.”
Napoli had come close to the Scudetto in the past, most notably under Maurizio Sarri, but Spalletti seems to have taken them to the next level.
“Spalletti is a great source of inspiration for me and I always follow his advice. He is helping me improve in every aspect of my game. We have a great rapport.”