Sunday September 10 2017
Mihajlovic: 'Benevento unlucky'

Sinisa Mihajlovic admits “Benevento absolutely did not deserve to lose, but last season Torino lost this sort of game.”

It looked to be heading for a goalless draw until Iago Falque finished off an inspired Adem Ljajic through ball in stoppages.

“Football is made up of incidents. I acknowledge Benevento had a good game and absolutely did not deserve to lose, so I can well understand their disappointment,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.

“We would lose this sort of game this season, so that alone is an advance. I expected more from the four strikers today, as they need to move the ball quicker to find spaces.

“It was M’Baye Niang’s first game, so he needs time to get that understanding with his teammates, but this is a good system going forward.

“Gallo Belotti was a bit ill during the week, so he wasn’t at his best this evening. The positive thing is that we kept a clean sheet and got all three points.

“If we are to fight for a place in Europe, we need to find the ferocity we’ve got at home and carry it with us on our travels. It’s an important victory, we will try to enjoy it and improve next time.”

Mihajlovic was asked if Salvatore Sirigu was a marked improvement on Joe Hart.

“For now yes, as he has done well, but it’s a long season. We hope he’ll keep up this standard. We signed Sirigu to save what’s saveable and he did a good job tonight. It’s no surprise that he’s reliable back there, he’s doing what is expected of him.

“Nicolas Nkoulou is very experienced and never loses his cool. Niang will give us that unpredictability and pace we need in open spaces. It is an improved squad from last season, but we’ve got a lot more work to do.

“Last season we needed great performances to win games, whereas now we’re starting to win ugly. Benevento deserved a draw, but we did what we had to do. My team always plays to win, whether against Juventus or Benevento. You get nowhere by trying to just defend.”

Toro were also unlucky, as both Joel Obi and Afriyie Acquah went off with muscular problems.

“There is a bit of a shortage in midfield now for the next few games, but that’s all part of what makes my job exciting.”

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