Napoli manager, Gennaro Gattuso, has confirmed that the recovery state of Nigeria’s striker, Victor Osimhen and Dries Mertens back to the main team are on gradual process.
The coach introduced Osimhen into their Thursday’s 4-2 win over Spezia in Coppa Italia towards the end of the game.
“We need to get Mertens and Osimhen into shape after their injuries, so naturally when they come on, it becomes more difficult to keep a balance with the rest of the team, but they need playing time. If we don’t clarify this, then people will think we’re amateurs,” Gattuso told RAI Sport.
“We didn’t create as much as usual, but we did put the ball in the net. We’re having difficulties at the moment in front of goal and we do know that.”
Napoli President, Aurelio De Laurentiis released a statement assuring the club has ‘full confidence’ in Gattuso, following days of growing reports that either the coach would be fired or was being pressured into resigning.
“I don’t need anyone to put their confidence in me. It irritates me that people ask me if I am meant to resign, but other colleagues aren’t given the same treatment.
“I resigned at Milan because I didn’t believe that I could do any more there, but I won’t resign here. I am here, doing my work. I’ve been working for four years and am in my fourth Coppa Italia semi-final. I’d like to see how Inter do without Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez for a month…
“The President spoke to the team and reassured me, even if I didn’t need it. I do my job, if that’s not appreciated, then oh well, never mind.
“We are in the Coppa Italia semi-final, look where Real Sociedad and AZ Alkmaar are, yet people act as if we achieved nothing by getting through that Europa League group.
“Nobody gave me anything, so I don’t get depressed, but it’s difficult to win at Napoli. If I get any more irritated, I’ll go and coach in Kuwait or something.
“I know this is part of the job, and I will continue to work as long as I am allowed to, but what’s happening recently is excessive.
“When I come here to give an interview, the first question I expect is that it’s my fourth year as a coach and I am in the fourth semi-final of my career.”