Garcia’s pre-Napoli press conference

Rudi Garcia spoke ahead of his team’s match tomorrow in Naples:

If Manolas can’t do it, who among Keita and De Rossi would play in defense?
We’ll see. There is a workout today, but we hope for Manolas to play. But if he can’t we’ll put a central midfielder there.

Because of the environment, this trip will be more difficult?
Yes. Napoli is even stronger at home. I’m focused on making sure that we are operating in the field, because we know it will already be hard enough. Let’s go there with ambition, we will try to play a good game and return with a positive result.

The words that I tell my players I keep in the locker room. The coach is always thinking of the team, but I was also a player and I understand players think about themselves too. In my mind, Mattia is not below the others. But there are parameters to be taken into account, not only his profile, you must see if you are playing at home, who you’re playing against, and the attitude you want to have (on the field). Then decide whether you want to play with two strikers or just one. With these parameters, I make my choices. The need to put players out there who play well together is important. For the moment, I have 7 attackers and have to make choices. Those choices are only judged by the outcome (of the match).

After this match the schedule is easier: can this help in the challenge against Juve? Also because your team will be healthier?
I hope that the players return from the injured list. We still have three games left to finish this series of 7, they are difficult, and then there’s a national break and some have to leave. I can never tell whether the calender is easy or not, you have to play each game at a time. Now, the one against Napoli will be here soon. We hope to have no problems.

There won’t be much peace for Tagliavento (the referee of the match)…
I always trust the referees, it is normal. Now isn’t (the time) to change the attitude. After the match, you can say something, but let’s hope there’s nothing to say

The Editor of, John has been covering Italian football as a freelance journalist for over 10 years and has appeared in various publications including,, and ESPN.