NEWS
Saturday September 23 2017
Mihajlovic: 'Toro heads won't drop'

Sinisa Mihajlovic admits it was “our own fault” Torino were down to 10 men against Juventus, but “we can’t let our heads drop now.”

The Granata were thumped 4-0, though it had been a relatively open game until Daniele Baselli’s foolish two yellow cards.

“He started out kicking, which is a good thing. He just needed to be a bit more careful,” the Coach told Mediaset Premium.

“The first card was a little harsh, as there were two similar fouls on Andrea Belotti and nothing happened. The second booking was absolutely correct, so I cannot complain.

“I don’t want to comment on the incidents. We prepared a certain type of match and unfortunately were unable to play it. Juventus started strong and then we went down to 10 men after 25 minutes.

“While we had 11 men on the field, we had our chances, but then Juve deserved the victory, there’s nothing much to say. It’s tough to accept, but the only thing worse than this defeat would be letting it get our heads down.

“Our objectives do not change, our focus is the same and we must move on, put the derby behind us. It was our own fault that we had a man down for over an hour.

“Unfortunately out of 11 players tonight, eight of them were on their third game in seven days, so we were exhausted too. Afriyie Acquah had been out for a while and only got his first training session yesterday.

“M’Baye Niang knows how good he can be, but needs to be in good physical shape. Right now, he needs to find his fitness and I risk it by trying to play him as much as possible so he can find that form.”

By talking about this derby as “the masses against the rulers,” was Mihajlovic not cranking up the tension too much?

“Every player prepares the game in their own way. I tried to take away some of the pressure and tension. It’s a derby, yes, but still just a match. I told the players at half-time that I didn’t want any more cards for talking back to the referee.

“Juve deserved to win and probably would’ve deserved to win with 11 against 11, but obviously I would’ve preferred to play the whole match on level terms.

“Our objectives do not change after one game. We want to fight to the end for a place in the Europa League and hopefully achieve it. We’re six rounds in and we won’t let our heads drop, we won’t give in.

“We’re sorry for the fans, we apologise to them for this defeat, but we have to accept it and move on.”