Sinisa Mihajlovic said AC Milan should aim for more than just a Champions League place this season. The new Milan coach sat down with La Gazzetta dello Sport for a lengthy interview after the tour of China, and here are some of is comments.
“So far it’s positive because we started from scratch changing players, tactics and our working methods. We are putting the right elements in the right places with regards to style of football and behaviour. We have taken the right path and will be ready when the games that really matter come along.
“I don’t feel the pressure, as if anything I relish more responsibility and bring the best out of myself. I am not afraid to take risks and face certain challenges. I live to face and win them.
“Our main objective is to finish in the top three, but with the squad we’ve got, if we are able to sign another two players then we could aim even higher. I won’t name names…”
The primary targets are Roma defender Alessio Romagnoli and Paris Saint-Germain hitman Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Mihajlovic is known as a very tough task-master in training and discussed his approach.
“In every situation the players must know what they are supposed to be doing. I will never get angry for a missed goal, but I would be furious if they don’t do what we agreed. When players step on to the pitch, 80 per cent of what they do is agreed beforehand and the other 20 per cent is adapting to the opponent.
“In moments of difficulty, you mustn’t lose your heads, but follow the principles of the football. We must be organised and know what we want.
“The strikers must be the first defenders, tracking back to midfield and sacrificing themselves. After the centre-circle, the others can take care of it.”
Two of Milan’s big signings this summer are Carlos Bacca and Luiz Adriano, who are both new to Serie A. The question that Milano fans are wondering is whether the two can co-exist?
“Great players speak the same language and understand each other. The only problems emerge when one is great and the other poor, but we don’t have that issue. They know the movements to follow, but are also free to express their talent and seek alternative solutions.”
Milan make their season debut away to Fiorentina, a familiar stadium for Mihajlovic.
“Perhaps it’s better, as we certainly can’t underestimate that game. That will never happen anyway, not on my watch. The opening fixtures are always a mystery, so it’s better to focus on work.”