“It is a special game for me, but we mustn’t spend too much energy on personal issues and focus on the collective.
“We have a very important match to play. If the fans did jeer me, I would consider that a show of affection. They were unfair to do that to Gonzalo Higuain, though.
“If Higuain plays tomorrow or not is purely a tactical consideration and has nothing to do with the atmosphere.”
Sarri was asked a difficult question, regarding if his joining the Bianconeri meant there was no going back to Napoli later on in his career.
“I am not thinking about that now. After this experience, I could even retire. We’ll see how much energy I have left by the end of it.
“Pressure is not really an issue, it’s about what someone expects from themselves. If you focus on the circus, then you’re done for. I don’t know how I’ll feel when my contract expires in two years. I might even continue and it’d be a bad idea.”
Napoli have struggled hugely since Sarri left, with Carlo Ancelotti getting sacked earlier this season to Gennaro Gattuso taking over now.
“I expect a difficult game, as Napoli are a strong team. Their current position in the table is strange, because they are the best in many aspects. Looking at the statistics, one feels they are destined to climb back up pretty quickly.
“I know only too well what motivation they will have going into this game. Napoli is changing, Gattuso likes to bring solidity to his teams and it looks as if he is achieving that intent here.”
Rodrigo Bentancur got a goal midweek and has been showing more attacking initiative.
“I still feel Sami Khedira is the best at making forward runs, but Bentancur is certainly learning. He brings balance to the side with extraordinary dynamism and is growing day by day. He is extremely important right now, because he allows us to play in a variety of different ways.”
Sarri often dismisses transfer chatter, and did the same again when asked about the news about rumours regarding an exchange for Mattia De Sciglio and PSG left-back Layvin Kurzawa.
“I don’t know. The director told me this is an idea. I saw him play a couple of times while having dinner with my family, but that’s very different to studying him, so I don’t really know the player very well.”