Serie A: Pepe Reina backs Rafael Benitez to succeed at Napoli
Napoli goalkeeper Pepe Reina is backing coach Rafael Benitez to have a successful first season with the Italian club.
Last Updated: 13/09/13 5:45pm
The Neapolitan outfit take on Atalanta on Saturday night having enjoyed a perfect start to the Serie A season with wins against Bologna and then at Chievo.
"Napoli remind me of Benitez's Liverpool," said Reina, who joined Napoli this summer on a season-loan deal from Liverpool.
"Despite the fact that we were not the strongest team technically, we were able to achieve great results due to hard work."
Benitez, who won the Champions League and FA Cup during a six-year tenure at Anfield, is embarking on a second stint in Italy having coached Inter Milan briefly in 2010.
"I have found a similar Rafa to that of eight years ago," Reina said. "He has the same determination to do well and counts on the group and on hard work as the basis of success."
The Spanish tactician took the Napoli reins from Walter Mazzarri, who stepped down at the end of last season after leading the team to finish runners-up behind Juventus and to qualification for the Champions League.
Rivals Atalanta go into the encounter at the Stadio San Paolo on the back of a 2-0 win over Torino - their first victory of the campaign - but they know they face a sterner test this weekend.
"Napoli have a great squad," Atalanta coach Stefano Colantuono said. "They are probably one of the strongest sides in Serie A.
"I expect a very complicated game for my team."
Atalanta are without the injured trio of Daniele Capelli, Franco Brienza and Riccardo Cazzola.