Benitez focusing on football rather than new contract

Contract talks at Napoli will take a back seat, says Rafael Benitez as they enter a crucial part of their campaign.

Rafael Benitez says he will put contract talks on hold to ensure Napoli are prepared for a crucial few months in their season.

The Spaniard has guided his side to third in the Serie A table, the Coppa Italia semi-finals and they are still in the UEFA Europa League - where they beat Trabzonspor 4-0 in the first leg of their last-32 tie.

Benitez has a contract in Naples until the end of the season, but any discussions over extending his stay will not take place while Napoli face a fixture congestion.

"It will take some time yet, but the important thing is to concentrate on the present," he said. "We must understand that we have a couple of months and it would be better not to talk too much on the market. 

"There is no precise date for when I will announce my decision. 

"I realise there is talk about all sorts of things, but we have to remember we're facing two crucial months for the season."

Napoli face Sassuolo in Serie A on Monday as they look to stay in touch with Roma and Juventus at the top of the table, with Benitez keen to ensure they stay focused against a dangerous side.

"Sassuolo are a good side who are playing well and you can see they have confidence in their abilities," he said.

"It will be a difficult game for us, but we must try to record a series of positive results, keeping our heads and working hard the way we always have done.

"I always had faith in my squad, but I think we can improve further. A defeat or a draw can happen, but we are in a positive moment of form. 

"We won six in a row and that is not easy. If we continue like this, we can achieve at least one of our targets."