“It wasn't an easy game, as we're in a packed fixture list and coming off a Champions League trip to Porto," the Coach told Sky Sport Italia and Mediaset Premium.
“The lads did very well this evening. Empoli are, among the teams lower down the table, the side who pass it around the most and that can be frustrating.
“We stepped up a gear after the break, scored two goals and could've had more. We really regret conceding that goal against Palermo, otherwise it would've been seven straight clean sheets.
“Napoli can still be in it, but the fact remains we have to focus only on ourselves and realise our destiny is in our own hands.
“It will be tough against Napoli in the Coppa Italia semi-final on Wednesday and we'll have to make some more changes to ensure the fitness levels are still good enough.
“Mandzukic guarantees physicality as well as technique, above all he's valuable on set plays. Paulo Dybala had played a lot of games, we have another on Wednesday, so I preferred to rest him and give us more strength with Stefano Sturaro."