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Rafael Benitez: Napoli is on the right track

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Hamann: Manchester United should consider Rafa Benitez
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Hamann: Manchester United should consider Rafa Benitez

Rafael Benitez believes his Napoli team is making great strides forward, despite going through many changes in the last year.

The club is currently third in Serie A and could break its own record of 70 points as it has racked up 64 with six games remaining.  And the Spaniard thinks his club will continue to move forward in the next few years if it continues to work hard and improve the squad.

“Looking at the statistics, this is almost a record-breaking campaign for this club, despite a change of coach, players and style of football," he told reporters. "We need to become more mature.

"When you talk to me at Napoli, you forget I was always at clubs where I didn’t have many funds at my disposal. And yet I won. Valencia and Liverpool didn’t have a high revenue when I was there, but we worked on the mentality of the players. We need to work harder and make the right choices on the transfer market. I think we are on the right path."

The coach turned his attention to Sunday's clash with Lazio, which he says his team will go all out to win as it looks to clinch a Champions League spot.

"This game with Lazio is important so that we can guarantee third place," he added. "It will also be a special match for the fans. We will give 100 percent to win. We have always done well at the San Paolo and the fans help us.

“[Lazio coach] Edy Reja is doing a great job. When you change coach, some things improve. It’ll be a difficult game, as they are highly motivated.”

Napoli will face Fiorentina in the Coppa Italia final in May, and Benitez is hopeful he can finish his first season with one piece of silverware.

"If we don’t win the final, then it could be a problem for the media and the fans," Benitez said. "Fiorentina will want to win, just as we do. It is nonetheless a positive season, but we could’ve done better."

He discussed his top scorer, Gonzalo Higuain, who he says is capable of putting in much better performances than he has in the last few weeks.

“Higuain is training well, but knows he hasn’t performed to his best and that he must do, because he’s an important player for us," Benitez said.

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