Tuesday January 30 2018
Calhanoglu: ‘Gattuso improved me’

Hakan Calhanoglu believes “I’m returning to my level” since Gennaro Gattuso replaced Vincenzo Montella as Milan Coach.

The Turkish midfielder joined the Rossoneri from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer, but initially struggled to settle in Italy.

“I’m very happy to be back to fitness and form, it was hard for me to find my rhythm after the injury,” Calhanoglu admitted in a Press conference today.

“Now I’m happy though because I’ve found a Coach who gives me a lot of confidence, he talks to me a lot and helps me bring out my best.

“Initially I didn't have the strength to show my qualities, but now that Rino is here I’m returning to my level.

“Since Gattuso came I’ve found the right space and the right formation, I’m getting on really well with Jack [Bonaventura] and we have a good understand on the pitch.

“Every Coach has his idea of playing, of course, and while I respect Montella I’ve never played in a 3-5-2 and because I’ve never played in it, I found it difficult. It’s not my way of playing.

“In Germany I played in a 4-2-3-1 and everything was different went Montella was here. My role is where I play for Gattuso, I’m happy.

“As a Coach he’s giving us the same determination he had as a player. He wants 100 per cent and he wants the same rhythm in every match.

“We have to give our best in every match.

“When we’ve spoken he’s motivated me and shows interest in me. He was clear with me, he told me that the problem was in my head, not in my feet.

“He told me to be free and relaxed, and from that moment on I’ve played much better.

“Aside from the physical problems I’ve had, I haven’t found any particular difficulties in Italian football.

“There was a lot of expectation on me but I couldn’t do my best due to injuries and other problems factors, but now I’ve reached my objectives and I’ll be even better, and as a team we’ll move forward more and more.”

Calhanoglu did identify some differences between Serie A and the Bundesliga.

“In Italy the game is much more tactical and based on experience, it’s very difficult. If you go ahead you shut up shop in defence and try not to concede a goal.

“In Germany they play much more on the front foot.

“The best opponent? There are a lot of strong players, but in terms of teams Juventus and Napoli are ahead.”

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