Sinisa Mihajlovic says Sampdoria must maintain focus to secure survival, as he thanks Roberto Mancini in his development as a Coach.
The 44-year-old is currently overseeing a turnaround in fortunes for Samp this season, but began his coaching apprenticeship with a spell as assistant to Mancini at Inter.
It is a period together that the Serb still holds dear and sees as influential to his work since.
“From him I learned the fieldwork, because Mancio in this respect is the best of them all,” Miha has considered to the Corriere dello Sport today.
“At Inter, as his assistant, I was devoted to the defence and he to the attack. If I have become a Coach, I owe it to Roberto and I thank him for this.
“I never forget what he did for me, even when we played together. Sometimes we would fight if we had conceded a goal, he would always blame us defenders and I would get angry.
“But in the end we were together and we are like brothers.”
Mihajlovic has returned to the bench this season at Marassi and engineered an upturn in Sampdoria’s League form and position. Even so, the threat of a relegation battle still looms.
“The race for survival is still a long one. We must stay focused and keep the tension high because just one mistake can ruin everything. It is up to us to do things right when it is difficult.
“A journey of this kind so far was hard to imagine when I arrived. We were on 11 points and third last and now this is a great achievement and to the merit of the guys, who have given me their full availability.
“I asked for courage and for more work and I worked a lot on the mentality of the players. They have played as a team, as men.
“Samp have their own mentality and have always shown that. Even against Juventus, Napoli, Inter and Milan. The result comes second - what counts is the attitude we have in the field.
“Can we reach Europe? The bases are there, but it depends on the club.”
Mihajlovic was asked of his past as a player and where he holds the closest ties.
“I am biancoceleste. For what I have won and for what the Lazio fans gave me. With respect to Roma and their supporters, I am laziale. There are where my kids play, Miroslav and Dusan.
“But today I am not thinking about the bench at Lazio.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £11,000 to be won monthly!