Gennaro Gattuso hailed Carlo Ancelotti after replacing him as Napoli boss.
The former AC Milan midfielder and coach left the Rossoneri at the end of the last season.
Napoli sacked Ancelotti on Tuesday night after they beat Genk 4-0 to reach the Champions League last 16.
"Ancelotti is like a father to me," Gattuso said. "He's always been close to me and supported me. He's won it all and I still have a lot to prove.
"The aim is to recoup points and get back into the Champions League positions. We need to work hard, win back points and come through this tricky period."
Gattuso hit out at Napoli’s position in Serie A, however, with the team seventh, ending a nine game streak without winning against Genk.
"It's embarrassing to see Napoli where we currently are in the table. This team has what it takes to finish in the top four,” added Gattuso.
"The team is aware of the difficult situation and wants to do well. I've been encouraged.
"I fear nothing. I know I'm going to be working with experienced people. I hope to get results."