Mertens can stare at me in the shower if he scores twice a game - Sarri


Maurizio Sarri has shrugged off Dries Mertens' goal celebration in last weekend's 2-2 draw at Pescara, joking that the Belgium international can stare at him in the shower if he scores twice a game.

Mertens was named as a substitute for Napoli's opening match of the new Serie A season, but he scored twice in 10 minutes following his introduction and then made a point of staring at Sarri.

Sarri appeared unconcered about Mertens' reaction after the brace secured a point at Pescara when he spoke to reporters on Friday.

"Was I troubled by Mertens glaring at me after the goal?" Sarri said ahead of Saturday's game against AC Milan. 

"If he thinks that will affect my decisions, he can forget it. If he scores two goals each game, he can come stare at me in the shower, I won't mind.

"The 2-2 draw with Pescara was a game we didn't win for reasons we analysed and dealt with, so there is no need to worry.

"We stepped on to the field in a very lazy manner and immediately were under pressure. We reacted well and were unlucky not to get all three points in the end. 

"I didn't like the initial approach, but these things happen in August and Pescara were brimming with enthusiasm."

Sarri praised AC Milan's new coach Vicenzo Montella for imposing a clear "identity" on his team as they got off to a winning start with a 3-2 victory over Torino.

"Montella has already given Milan an identity, so this will be a difficult game for us," he said. 

"Milan spent big in the transfer market last year and are now convinced they can fight for a Champions League spot. They impressed me so far this season.

"Napoli know we can do better and I got very angry with the team after the first half in Pescara. They need to spark up a different level of determination and desire. I promise the fans they will see a very different approach to the one seen at Pescara."

Manolo Gabbiadini has been linked with a move away from Napoli, with Everton and Fiorentina both reportedly interested in the striker, but Sarri said the 24-year-old is available for Saturday's match.

"The rumours around Manolo are of no interest to me," Sarri said. "Tomorrow he will be at our disposal, he trained all week and the club has not informed me of anything else. He will be taken into consideration.

"Gabbiadini always struggled a little at the start of the season and our bad first half at Pescara certainly wasn't his responsibility."