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Benitez defends squad rotation

27 September 2013 18:21

Rafael Benitez will continue to rotate his Napoli squad despite seeing his side held to a shock 1-1 draw against Sassuolo on Wednesday.

The Spaniard had guided his side to four straight league victories, but Napoli's 100 per cent winning start to the season was curtailed when Simone Zara cancelled out Blerim Dzemaili's opener in Naples.

Benitez made six changes to the team that had beaten Milan 2-1 last Sunday, calling for some to question his decision to rest key personnel.

But the former Liverpool and Chelsea manager said he has no intention of changing his methods ahead of Saturday's trip to Genoa, and that rotating his squad is essential if they want to challenge for titles at the end of the season.

"We know that making changes to the starting line up is necessary," he said. "Especially with so many games so close to each other.

"It's not a question of starters and reserves for me, everyone can play in my mind. A squad is important if you want to win something at the end of the season.

"We want to be fighting for honours at the end of the year, not win one game by losing players who are tired or injured."

Napoli's busy schedule continues when they travel to Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday, but Benitez called on his squad to focus on the task at hand and get back to winning ways against Genoa on Saturday.

He added: "Everyone was expecting the three points against Sassuolo, but the game only ended in a draw. Now I'm expecting a reaction against Genoa tomorrow.

"The side is focused on them right now. We'll only start to think about Arsenal from Saturday night onwards."

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Thursday 2 October

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Wednesday 1 October

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Tuesday 30 September

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Serie A table

# Team MP D P
6 5 +2 8
7 5 +0 8
8 5 +0 7
9 5 +3 6
10 5 -1 6

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