Rafael Benitez has insisted that Napoli are fully focused upon achieving victory in their Europa League, semi-final clash against Dnipro at the Stadio San Paolo on Thursday evening, while he also deflected journalist’s inquires about his future in Campania.
The Partenopei are two games away from their first European final since they won this competition with Diego Maradona in 1989 and the Spanish tactician is keen to ensure that his players take nothing for granted against an opponent perceived as inferior by many commentators.
“This is only the beginning in terms of getting to the final,” Benitez insisted in front of the gathered press. “We are focused and if we can get back into the last act of this competition it would be very important.
“Dnipro are a team that has conceded very few goals. In 2015, in 17 games they’ve conceded just two goals. [Ivan] Strinic spoke highly of the team and if they made it to the semi-finals then it means that they deserved it. It will be very difficult.
“We are only thinking about winning and if we are able to do so without conceding goals then it would be even better. I appeal to the fans: I hope everything goes well and we excite throughout the whole game. Again, the Dnipro are a good compact team.”
With Benitez’s contract set to expire next month, the attention of the press conference then inevitably turned towards the 55-year-old’s future.
“The president knows what I think. But for now I want to only focus on this historic opportunity for the club to return to playing in a European final. We have to be fully focused only on that.”