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Proud boss Benitez demands Napoli focus

Benitez's men collected 12 points in the UEFA Champions League but failed to get out of their group.

They are third on the Serie A table and Benitez stressed the importance of another victory before the winter break.

"We know that this is a special game (against Cagliari)," he said.

"Obviously it is a difficult one, as we know that the last game before Christmas always is.

"We have spoken about this, especially during the last two training sessions, which the team has performed wonderfully in, and even today we tried to reiterate the point to our players.

"So both the team and the manager are completely ready and we will see during the match how it goes, but we know for certain that it is going to be a very, very difficult match."

Pressed on his side's hopes of winning the Serie A this season, he replied: "Well, it's not really (easy to predict) because in the end we are talking about a path we are undertaking, not a single match.

"Obviously if we win it will be even better but I think that achieving what we have in the Champions League where we collected 12 points against great teams, but also in the league, in only five months is very positive.

"Could it be better? Obviously, but we have faith that the next year will be even better."

Benitez revealed he will explore his options ahead of the January transfer window but knows it will be difficult to find players better than he already has.

"I think that all managers at this time of the year say the same thing: 'We expect a few gifts'. It is normal," he said.

"In our case we have worked a lot to be prepared for this transfer window because the winter transfer window is not an easy one.

"It is hard to find players that are better, or can do certain things better, than the ones we currently have in our squad.

"But we are currently still working and we will see if someone comes. If not, we will work even harder."