Insigne the key – Benitez

6 October 2014 07:10

Rafael Benitez hailed the work rate shown by striker Lorenzo Insigne as Napoli continued their resurgence in Serie A on Sunday.

Napoli overturned a first-half deficit to beat Torino 2-1 at the Stadio San Paolo.

Fabio Quagliarella gave Torino a 14th-minute lead but his effort was cancelled after half-time, with Insigne and Jose Callejon on target.

The result ensured back-to-back wins for the Naples club after they went three games without a win and Benitez reserved praise for Insigne, who went from goalscorer to provider in the second half.

“The key for me with Insigne is his work rate,” Benitez told Sky Sport Italia of the 23-year-old.

“In football you cannot talk about a player who stands still, as they need to help out in defence and also attack.

“Lorenzo can do that, he just needs to be a little more precise in the finish.”

Napoli have now collected 10 points from six games, elevating them to within eight points of defending champions and league leaders Juventus.

They are also just four points adrift of Sampdoria, who occupy the UEFA Champions League qualifying spot.

Napoli’s rise up the table has helped ease the pressure on Benitez, whose job was reportedly on the line following the club’s failure to qualify for the Champions League group stage.

Benitez was also heavily scrutinised after Napoli lost back-to-back games against Chievo and Udinese, however, the Spaniard insisted he never feared for his job.

“I wasn’t tense recently. I was perplexed by everything that was being said after the season we had last year,” he said.

“We know there is a lot of passion in the city, but there are financially stronger clubs and we have to work extra hard to close that gap.

“Was I offended? No, perplexed. A team that notched up a new record of Serie A points, won 10 away games, scored over 100 goals and finished in third place while winning the Coppa Italia achieved a great deal.

“I realise people expect a great deal, but with football it’s all a question of moments. If even one of our chances from previous games had gone in, we would’ve had as many points as last season.”