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FA Cup quarterfinal draw

FA Cup

Mazzarri excited by Napoli challenge

New Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri believes hard work will be the key factor as he attempts to turn things around at the struggling Serie A club.

Mazzarri took over the reins from the sacked Roberto Donadoni yesterday, with Napoli lying 15th in the standings and with just four wins in their last 17 matches.

However, the former Sampdoria and Reggina coach believes the players he has at his disposal are more than capable of firing them back up the table.

"My aims? A coach has to know the squad personally first to show seriousness and professionalism,'' Mazzarri said as he was officially unveiled today.

"I have a general idea from having seen Napoli on TV but I need to interact with the players every day to understand what to do and what to say to the club. "Work can make the difference as this is probably the most technically gifted squad I have ever coached.''

Despite reports claiming Delio Rossi and Roberto Mancini were in the frame for the job, Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis insists Mazzarri was always first choice.

The 47-year-old was an attractive candidate for Napoli after guiding Samp to a sixth-place finish in the 2007-08 campaign and a run to the Coppa Italia final last season before deciding to leave in the summer.

And Mazzarri claims he leapt at the chance.

"Those who know me know that I am not one to go along fawning, but for me Napoli are comparable to clubs who are fighting for the league," he said. "Napoli's catchment area is the fourth largest in Italy, it's a great place.

"I know the warmth of the city and of the fans, from this point of view it is the top. You cannot hesitate in accepting a chance like this.''

Napoli's fanatical support is renowned throughout Serie A and the Partenopei hold the Serie C attendance record, often attracting more than 50,000 fans to the Stadio San Paolo.


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