Benitez optimistic about Napoli's chances against Roma

Rome, Oct 18 (IANS) Napoli head coach Rafael Benitez said he was optimistic about his side's chances against AS Roma despite their inconsistent form in the Italian Serie A.

Napoli will play AS Roma Friday, and Benitez said his team are not at their best, reports Xinhua.

"I've always said that we are working to improve. We are still only at 75 percent, I'm very satisfied," he said.

"We won at Milan even if with a little difficulty. Then we drew at home to Sassuolo. Italian football is hard, but we are optimistic ahead of Roma," he said.

Benitez played down the importance of the game which pits the league leaders against the second-placed team.

"If we win in Rome then we will return to Naples and prepare for the Marseille game," he said.

"If we collect three points at Roma then we won't definitely win the Scudetto. If we don't win then we will just continue trying to get better."

The Spaniard said he will not assign a player to man-mark Francesco Totti who has inspired Roma to seven wins from as many Serie A games this season.

"Totti is a great player. We have to be defensively aware because he can make the difference. But we won't put a man on him, " he said.

"Roma are a fantastic pressing side and their organisation leaves little space for their opponents. It is no coincidence that they concede few goals. They counter well, but so do we," he said.

"I don't think Roma will change anything to the way they play. They defend as a team and don't man mark. They are good at the defensive phase and we just need to find the right space," he added.

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