Napoli ready to secure long-awaited title for fans, says Spalletti
Luciano Spalletti said Saturday that Napoli are ready to claim their first Serie A title in more than three decades as fans wonder whether this weekend will finally end a long Scudetto drought.
Napoli need closest challengers Lazio not to win at Inter Milan in Sunday's early kick-off and then a win over Salernitana in a rearranged fixture to secure the league crown last won in 1990 with a record-breaking six games to spare.
Last weekend's thrilling win at Juventus brought Napoli to the brink of glory and Spalletti is convinced the weight of expectation won't get to his team.
"We need to keep doing what we've done up to now. There are things above us that we can't control, and we'll adapt to them," Spalletti told reporters.
"But we'll be ready to play the match tomorrow as we would have been to play today, with everything little bit of strength we have, and even that which we don't have.
"We just want to go out there and play the match."
Napoli will take to the Stadio Maradona field on Sunday afternoon after the fixture was pushed back a day following a request from security authorities in Naples.
Wild partying is expected among fans in Naples over May Day weekend, which extends into Monday, should Napoli seal the deal and emulate icon Diego Maradona, the talisman behind their previous two titles in 1987 and 1990.
"It's above all about them who we should be thinking about... Let's think about them because they've had the joy of watching a group of committed players who give everything for them," added Spalletti.
"They have shown a lot for us, and have been really important in us having such an exciting end of season."
The decision to move the match upset Salernitana owner Danilo Iervolino who was livid that his club wasn't consulted and that his team has one day less to prepare for Wednesday night's fixture at Fiorentina, with their Serie A safety not yet secured.
"We haven't left our season in the hands of the Naples prefect or fate... our desire is to make people happy. They waited for us for hours at the airport and for the team bus," said Spalletti.
"We haven't done anything as a team, and the fixture change meant we had to change our plans during the week. We have to accept it because it's come from a desire to maintain public order.
"Our team doesn't need to change anything, I'm sure, looking at the desire shown in training, that we will play our game. Whether that will be enough I'm not sure because we have a good team in front of us."