Cesare Prandelli is "convinced" Napoli can improve and fight for Serie A glory this season.
Club icon Diego Maradona has already dismissed Napoli's hopes of winning Scudetto in 2015-16 following an underwhelming start under new coach Maurizio Sarri, who has overseen two draws and a defeat.
Former Italy coach Prandelli, however, is much more optimistic about Sarri and Co.
"I'm convinced Napoli can fight for the title, or at least the top places," Prandelli said in quotes attributed to Radio CRC.
"It takes time, because when you change coach they must make sure their methods are assimilated.
"I'm confident they'll improve with work, but then again I saw a really good Napoli in the second half against Empoli."
Prandelli, who won three Serie A titles as a Juventus player in the 1980s, added: "Juventus, Roma, Inter, Napoli and Milan will fight for the Scudetto.
"Napoli have transparent financial statements, they're capable of improving their players, so they have to continue moving in that direction.
"We've only had three games in the league, and I don't think there's anything to be worried about. The mistakes the players are making are down to a desire to do what the coach asks of them. In a few months you can be sure they'll be moving just like Sarri asks them to."
Napoli play host to Lazio on Sunday.
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