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The Napoli boss urged fans not to jeer again after Lorenzo Insigne gestured towards them in Wednesday’s cup tie

Rafael Benitez has defended Lorenzo Insigne after the Italian was booed off in Napoli’s 1-0 win over Lazio in the Coppa Italia on Wednesday.

Insigne gestured towards parts of the crowd that booed when he was substituted for Dries Mertens in the second half of the match.

“Insigne is a young lad and we have to be understanding of his situation,” said Benitez, speaking to Rai Sport.

“I ask the fans that if they have complaints, to keep hold of them until the final whistle. If they want to help the players, then jeering won’t do that.”

The Partenopei's Coppa Italia win set up a semi-final tie against Roma, and Benitez suggested that the fixture schedule could work in their opponent’s favour.

“Roma are a very strong side and have an advantage, as they only need to play one game per week,” said the Partenopei coach.

“They are not stronger than Napoli, but it makes a huge difference preparing for games in two days or in six.”

Marek Hamsik continued his comeback from injury in the game and Benitez gave special mention to the playmaker.

Benitez added: “We played almost two months without Marek Hamsik and his quality is important for the side.

“We knew he could be a little tired after working so hard in the last two games.”

Napoli travel to Atalanta for their next league game on February 2.