Pippo Inzaghi explained his surprising Milan picks in the 2-2 draw with Verona, but rejected a “trial by media.”
Many of his decisions will cause controversy, including Giampaolo Pazzini rather than Mattia Destro, putting on a fifth defender at home and sitting deeper and deeper until Verona scored the equaliser.
Inzaghi now has 35 points in 26 rounds, whereas last season Clarence Seedorf took just 19 games to achieve that figure.
“It’s a shame to concede a goal that way 10 seconds from the end. We were daft, as with a struggle we had been able to take home the win until that moment,” he told Sky Sport Italia.
“Obviously the lads were very disappointed, but this is football – those who score at the last second celebrate, those who concede will have difficult days.
“We still have 12 games and have to bring the games home, that’s what we did not do tonight.”
Inzaghi was asked whether he still felt the team was fully behind him.
“If that weren’t the case, the side would’ve given up after going 1-0 down. Verona defended with 10 men and it was tough to find space, but we had turned it around.
“Obviously if the game had ended 10 seconds earlier, the comments would be different right now.”
Inevitably this result will revive reports that Inzaghi could be fired.
“That is not a question for me. I go forward with my head held high, because I give my all and so does the team.
“We have few alternatives, there’s no point hiding it. I knew this was a complicated match, we should’ve done better throughout the 90 minutes, but if we had won it would’ve been important as a morale-booster.
“It’s a real shame that we conceded a silly goal and a side that needs three points really cannot afford to give that away.
“Our next opponents will be Fiorentina, it won’t be easy, but we will give our best.”
Inzaghi was asked whether he should be harder on the Milan players and put more responsibility on their shoulders rather than protect them from criticism.
“Everyone has their opinion. I think I know when to use the carrot and the stick. We might’ve played badly tonight, but nobody can say the players didn’t put in the effort.
“In training I saw their hunger, the work and the spirit. We do need to play better, we drew and I have to look forward.
“I don’t like trials by media, I know you will hold one anyway, but I have to focus on my team.”
Inzaghi was asked about his picks, starting Pazzini rather than Destro, then replacing the centre-forward with defender Salvatore Bocchetti.
“I made that decision because Tachtsidis hit the bar and we were struggling in midfield, so I put Antonini into midfield. If we had won, people would've said it was an inspired move.
“When Pazzini doesn’t play you always ask me why. He had never started a game this season, he was doing well in training and I thought he’d suit this match on home turf. I have to make choices.”
Milan’s next match is away to on-form Fiorentina, but it remains to be seen whether Inzaghi will be on the bench at the Stadio Franchi.
“Will we see each other next Monday in Florence? I hope so.”