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New Napoli coach Calzona 'not scared' of Barcelona


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Francesco Calzona said Tuesday that he has no fear of Barcelona as he prepares to take charge of Napoli for the first time in a huge Champions League tie.

The 55-year-old became Napoli's third coach of the season after replacing sacked Walter Mazzarri on Monday night, just 48 hours before hosting Barca in Wednesday's last 16, first leg clash in Naples.

"I told the players that we don't have any more excuses, we need to do better and Barca are a good team, one of the best around in Europe," Calzona told reporters. 

"We're not scared because we're Napoli but no-one can deny that they have great players and a top coach."

Wednesday's match is a baptism of fire for Calzona, who returns to Napoli after being an assistant under both Maurizio Sarri and Luciano Spalletti.

"A coach can't change much as we don't have time. We have to accelerate this learning process," added Calzona. 

"I'm obviously happy. When I got to the city I could feel my adrenaline rise. We're immediately up against a good team but it's not scary because Napoli are a good team too."

Barca present Napoli with a chance to turn around a dreadful season which has left the Italian champions 27 points behind Serie A leaders Inter Milan and nine from the Champions League places.

The departure of now-Italy coach Luciano Spalletti preceded a crash from one of Europe's most exciting teams to a team which has struggled to score goals. 

"When you change to a third coach it means things aren't going well. The team understands the situation and we know we have to do more... Everyone is responsible we all know that," said Napoli captain Giovanni Di Lorenzo.

"You play this game for matches like tomorrow's so we need to play it to the maximum of our potential."

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