Keisuke Honda assures he is not affected by criticism, but is progressing at Milan despite “different philosophies” with Clarence Seedorf.
The Japan international spoke to La Gazzetta dello Sport in a wide-ranging interview on his Serie A experience since arriving from CSKA Moscow on a free transfer in January.
“Criticism doesn’t please me, of course, but you are all free to write what you want. I feel that soon my first Serie A goal will arrive and it is going to be an important moment.
“I am very determined. I came here in order to become a champion with Milan. It’s a long road, but there is a great project here and the Japanese are patient people.”
Honda has been dropped occasionally by Coach Seedorf, who said he still needs to get to grips with his tactics.
“I often speak to Seedorf, as his English is excellent, so it is easy to understand each other. Above all at the beginning I didn’t understand a lot of things, so I went to his room to get into more detail.
“At the start I didn’t feel at ease on the right, but Kaka is already in the centre and he’s playing well, so I need to find my space.
“Things are going a little better compared to the first few games. Of course the centre is my home, as I love to play behind the striker, but Seedorf said I have the qualities to play on the right and players do need to adapt at times.
“We have different philosophies, but the important thing is to have a dialogue. We talk every day.”
Honda brushed off suggestions he felt there wasn’t enough enthusiasm from the fans around his arrival.
“I wasn’t the Number One in Japan or Moscow either. Football is a team sport. I like pressure and big expectations. That is my personality.
“I didn’t expect the fans to have patience: I chose the Number 10 jersey and was given a big presentation. I know people expect a lot from me, but I have faith in myself and criticism never gets me down.
“I cannot judge the atmosphere at San Siro, but I hope that if we play better then more people will come. Playing beautiful football and calling the fans to the stadium are among my ambitions.
“As for the results, none of us are satisfied, but we are working to improve constantly. I knew that I’d run into difficulties at Milan, but I chose this club because I had always dreamed of being here.”