Serie A TIM


Sinisa Mihajlovic faced the media on Friday and previewed Saturday’s match versus Torino at the Stadio Olimpico. 

Opening comments: "We’re going through a tough moment which we have to come out of. To do this, we will need character and conviction. It’s not been easy to prepare because of the international break and we've had lots of absences. But we won’t look for excuses and we will prepare for the match as best as we can. Formation? There is no 'winning' formation. I have said that before. In the past couple of weeks I have read a lot of things, and even read that the club reportedly asked me to change the formation. Those who write those things clearly don’t know me. I speak with President Berlusconi and CEO Galliani, but the final decision on the team and tactics lies with me. At the moment we need to find our confidence again and be more solid, but we haven’t been able to train with a full squad because of the international break. We know it’s a big match, but if you don’t play with the desire to win, the hunger and the right focus, then the formation has little significance. We have adopted so far a 4-3-1-2 because it is in the club’s DNA and part of Milan’s history. In pre-season it worked well. In Serie A, our performances haven’t been consistent and there have been some problems. We will evaluate everything and try and find a solution." 

On Saturday’s opponents: "Tomorrow we have to play as we know how. Torino play good football and the credit goes to Ventura, who is one of the best coaches in Italy and a master of the game. He has been at the club for many years and the results are there to see. They have the players to make it hard for us, but we know what we need to do. Toro are playing well but if we play like we know how, we can win." 

Fighting talk from the coach: "If anyone thinks that I have given up, well, they clearly don’t know me. I never give up and I will continue on my path. I am relaxed and I know that with my team we will come out of this situation. My players have always given their best in every match. Mentally we’re a bit weaker than our opponents, that is true. But, in the first half versus Napoli it was an even affair while away at Genoa and down to 10 men, we would not have played as well as we did in the second half if we didn’t have determination. We cannot lose confidence and we have to keep on working." 

More from the coach: "Us coaches are judged on our results. How we work isn’t taken into consideration, but just the results, and if you achieve them then you are the best one. You have to be able to live with this situation and be aware that in Italy this is the way it is. For me, it’s not a problem. I quit the Serbian national team because I missed the weekly pressure that comes with club football. Even as a player I was able to handle the pressure well." 

An update on Mario Balotelli: "Injuries are part and parcel of our job. Balotelli is struggling with a groin injury and he is not available. I hope he can resume full training again on Monday. I don’t think we’re missing the desire and I am certain that the team will take to the pitch to give their all. I see the squad in training every day and they are working well. I thought I would be able to sort the problems out quicker, and perhaps it will take longer, but we will resolve everything. I am certain." 

Closing comments: "We can also change formation during a match. We did this away at Udinese, switching to a 4-4-2, we won and we did well. We also tried this approach with Napoli, but we lost the match. We can play with a 4-3-1-2, the formation we have started the season with, a 4-4-2 or a 4-3-3. They are all different formations, more or less offensive. Lack of reaction from the team? I don’t agree. In Florence, we could have done better, against Inter we created more chances than them even after going a goal down. Against Genoa, and down to 10 men, we had 3 or 4 goal-scoring chances. We have tried, but luck wasn’t on our side and we weren’t clinical enough. My adventure with Milan ? I would call it challenging. I have nothing to clarify with Honda, I talk to him about team and tactical matters. The other matters are down to the club." 

(Photo LaPresse)