Marko Livaja has hope of returning to play for Atalanta this season and wants to put aside disciplinary problems, “but with me, you never know!”
The striker is back in Croatia this week to recover from an Achilles injury, but his season with La Dea is seen as already over for his pitchside and online clashes with club supporters at the weekend.
Even so, the 20-year-old is in a positive frame of mind to return to action before this season is out.
“The season began well, I was a regular in a different system, but we suffered some negative results and so we were forced to switch tactics and moved to a 4-4-2,” Livaja has begun in reflection this week to Croatian outlet Sportske Novosti.
“[German] Denis is the captain and remains in the starting line-up as the first striker, whilst I often dropped to the bench.
“I felt a little responsible, but after everything that has happened, it is important that I play. There is still time to the end of the season to prove myself, I want to take advantage of the opportunity.”
Livaja has had several disciplinary issues during his time with Atalanta, from punching teammate Ivan Radovanovic in training to quarrelling with Coach Stefano Colantuono and refusing to warm up during a match this February against Udinese.
“The last time [I was suspended by the club] was because I decided not to warm up in the 78th minute.
“The cause was the winter transfer window. I wanted to leave Atalanta in January, I had made arrangements, but I was not given permission.
“They said I was too important to the team, only to keep my on the bench and send me to warm up in the 78th minute.
“Why the 78th if I was so important? But in football it is normal for these things to happen. I get paid, we are professionals and I admit I was wrong.”
Livaja was asked if he fears getting a bad boy image.
“Many of the things that come out in the Press are not true. But I do not want to make excuses. Anyone who knows me know that the truth is not written.
“There is always another side. Now I hope that the club will not suspend me, but with me you never know!
“Is it a question of mentality? You can say that it is the mentality of being from Split. I left Hajduk when I was 16, it is too early for anyone.
“But I had to leave, it was a smart move, because my contract expired and no-one had yet contacted me.”
Finally, with speculation that Atalanta will return him to parent club Inter in the summer, the forward was asked of his hope of being given a chance with the Nerazzurri.
“In Milan there is a lot of competition. President Erick Thohir has announced a great investment, undoubtedly some great players will arrive.
“It will be hard to earn a place at Inter. I have a two-year contract, who knows if I have a good end to the season they won’t bring me back to Inter…”