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Napoli chief unconcerned with draw

08 Dec 2011 11:17:03

Napoli chief unconcerned with draw

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis says he has no preference as to who his team gets in Friday's Champions League draw, saying it won't make any difference.

Napoli won 2-0 at Villarreal on Wednesday night to ensure they took second spot in Group A ahead of Manchester City, who beat Bayern Munich by the same score.

While potential draws such as Barcelona, Real Madrid and Chelsea may look daunting, there are also Apoel Nicosia and Benfica in the hat.

But for De Laurentiis, a cinematographer, it's all the same.

"I accepted the group draw in good grace and hence there's no difference between Real and Apoel," he said.

However Slovak midfielder Marek Hamsik, who scored the clinching second goal in Spain, was sure about one team he doesn't want to face.

"We don't want to pull Barcelona out of the hat. Obviously we're very happy," he said.

"After that great strike from Gokhan (Inler) it was a lot easier."

Napoli played Barca in a pre-season friendly and were thrashed 5-0 in a match that demonstrted just how far they still have to go to truly join the continent's elite.

However, having come through the group of death to make it into the last 16, there is cause for optimism.

And although they took a long time to break down Villarreal, Argentine forward Ezequiel Lavezzi insisted he was never worried.

"We never doubted we could win the game," he said.

"The important thing was to go through to the next round and luckily we could get this win and do so.

"We've made a jump in quality as a team, we got through in a group in which no-one expected us to.

"We've shown we're a team, we're together and when we all conentrate we can do damage.

"In the first half we didn't have the right character to get a goal but overall we had patience.

"We said in the dressing room (at half-time) we need to give more to get what we want and lucikly in the second half we started in a different way and maybe they were more tired due to the pressing they did in the first half."

Switzerland midfielder Inler opened the scoring with a fine strike from outside the area and after that Napoli seemed to relax.

"We were a bit tense in the first half, it was a really difficult game but fortunately I scored the first goal," said Inler.

"I'm delighted for the team because we really played well, we deserved to be going forwards.

"All the games are very difficult, that's normal for a team that needs time but we're really strong and we can all grow together.

"I don't care who we get next, we have to concentrate on the league now and we'll see who we get."


AFP

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