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Benitez hails Jorginho

30 January 2014 02:03

Napoli coach Rafael Benitez has hailed new signing Jorginho after watching his side defeat Lazio 1-0 in the Coppa Italia.

Jorginho made his first start for Napoli since joining the club from Hellas Verona and was crucial to the win over Lazio on Wednesday, anchoring the midfield alongside captain Gokhan Inler.

The 22-year-old Brazilian scored seven goals and set up four more in 18 Serie A matches for Hellas before signing for Napoli earlier this month and, according the Benitez, is set to make a similar impact in a sky blue shirt for the rest of the season.

"Jorginho had a good game," Benitez told Rai Sport.

"He is the kind of player who can help us change attitude during a match and that is important."

Napoli needed an 82nd-minute goal from Gonzalo Higuain to overcome Lazio at the Stadio San Paolo despite controlling most of the game.

"Lazio showed their strength and their pace but we deserved the win and continued to play with intensity right to the end," Benitez said.

Napoli are expected to finalise a deal for Palmeiras defender Henrique and Saint-Etienne midfielder Faouzi Ghoulam in the coming days but Benitez refused to confirm either transfer.

"Nobody has told me (Henrique) is a Napoli player yet, so we have to wait," the 53-year-old Spaniard said.

"He is a player with quality who can play in defence or midfield, so is a versatile figure. If he becomes our player over the next few hours, then he will become important for Napoli.

"I will again say our squad is strong and if we can improve it then that's even better," Benitez added when asked about Ghoulam.

Meanwhile, Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina defended Lorenzo Insigne, who was booed by some supporters.

"The supporters are always right. They can do whatever they like but to me each and every Napoli player ought to be backed by his supporters," he said.

"Booing doesn't help at all.

"We respect their feelings but every time we put on this shirt we give 100 per cent to the team. Sometimes the outcome is bad but we always try."

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Info

1 - 0

Lazio

L W L D W
Competition
Coppa Italia
Date
29 January 2014
Kick-off
20:45
Half-time
0 - 0
Full-time
1 - 0
Venue
Stadio San Paolo (Napoli)
Attendance
42131

Goals

G. Higuaín 82'
(assist by José Callejón) 
1 - 0

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Friday 11 July

Thursday 10 July

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Wednesday 9 July

23:44
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03:56
03:56
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