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Feb 26, 2014

Benitez eyes Europa League progress

Napoli coach Rafa Benitez believes his former club Liverpool have shown him the way to overcome Swansea in their Europa League tie on Thursday night.

The 53-year-old, who guided Chelsea to the Europa League title last year, has a simple anecdote for his side.

"We've got to score one more than them," said the Spaniard with a grin. "It's not that hard to work out the tactics."

Simple as it may sound, Benitez knows much of the Partenopei's season rides on his team getting it right at the Stadio San Paolo.

Reina has reunited with former Liverpool boss Benitez at Napoli.
Benitez guided Chelsea to the Europa League title last season

"I always say that our next game is our most important, and this is our next game," added Benitez, showing no signs of pressure at a news conference in Castelvolturno, near Naples.

"I know Swansea very well and it all boils down to this: they scored three goals at the weekend, which is important. They conceded four, though, and that is also important.

"We play every game to win it; to impose ourselves. We all saw that Swansea play good, fast and intense Premier League football when they played us and when they played Liverpool. We're going to have to defend well, but also attack to score goals. Having possession is not the key, being precise in attack is."

That will be a job for Gonzalo Higuain, while ensuring Swansea fail to get what could be a crucial away goal will be where Pepe Reina comes in.

The goalkeeper, on loan from Liverpool, will be in the firing line on Thursday and he dismissed claims that Napoli are underperforming. "I'd say we've done well so far," Reina said. "We've played a good season. We have pretty much the same points as last season and the only difference is Juventus.

"We did well in the Champions League and we're in the final of the Coppa Italia so I'd say it's been a positive season, even if we could do even better. Now we want to do well right to the end in this competition."

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