Napoli defeated Torino 5-3 at the Stadio San Paolo on Sunday led by Dries Mertens’ four-goal display.
Mertens told Premium Sport the win was crucial for the team.
“Today was an important match because the other clubs [ahead of us] lost and the three points were essential. We succeeded. Now, the Fiorentina game arrives immediately. It’s another tough match, but you continue to play. We are doing well.”
The Belgian also remains confident that he can play as a forward in the squad’s recent false-nine formation.
“If the team functions well I can play as a false nine. But, if we play by the long-ball, it’s difficult for me.”
Premium Sport asked Mertens if his fourth goal was Diego Maradona-esque.
“I still have a little work to do.”
Mertens has now scored seven goals in the last two Serie A matches for the partenopei. He became the first player in Napoli history to score a hat-trick and a poker (four goals) in back-to-back Serie A matches.
“I still have not realized what I did,” Mertens said to Sky Sport. “I have to go home and think it over. I’m glad for how many I scored. I am happy and want to continue to give my all.”
While Napoli did pick up the win, Mertens acknowledged that the team has things they need to work on. However, he also told Sky Sport he knows manager Maurizio Sarri is fit to coach this team and that he feels comfortable playing for Sarri.
“We have to improve in many things. We gave up goals, conceding them easily and we shouldn’t let that happen. We scored many goals. I feel good playing for this team. The coach is giving this Napoli the perfect system of play.”
Mertens raises his Serie A goal total to 10, tied with former Napoli striker, Juventus’ Gonzalo Higuain. Napoli moves into third place with the victory and only one point out of second place. Napoli takes on Fiorentina away from home on Thursday, Dec. 22.