Friday March 15 2019
Calhanoglu: Milan 'not far' from Juve

Hakan Calhanoglu claims Milan are ‘not far from nights’ like the one that saw Juventus come back against Atletico Madrid.

Five straight Serie A wins have catapulted Milan into third place ahead of Saturday’s Derby della Madonnina against Inter, and Calhanoglu is feeling optimistic ahead of the showdown at San Siro.

“There’s great expectation, we’re all waiting for the derby,” the attacking midfielder told reporters.

“We feel strong and we’re in great form, but we have great respect for Inter. It’ll be very tough against them and we’ll have to give 150 percent.

“I’d take Politano off them, but Brozovic is also strong. Icardi? He’s important to them, but the issue involving him don’t concern us.

“I’d like to set Piatek up for the winning goal. He and Paqueta have settled in quickly. I’ve always had excellent relationships with all my Coaches, respect is mutual.

“Gattuso acts the same with all the players, not just me. He was a player himself and he knows what the lads need.

“He transmits so much positive energy and lets us play at a high level. He helped me in my private life too. Becoming a father was very exciting.

“I know some clubs wanted me in January, but I’m happy here. I hope to stay at Milan for a long time, but it’s up to the club.

“I don’t feel under pressure if I don’t score. The important thing is to work for the team and not be selfish.

“I feel good and run 12-13km per game. I think my performances have been good. I still think I’m among the best set-piece takers.

“We’re a close-knit team, who help you like a family does. My nicest teammate is Kessie. Bakayoko surprised me: he was first targeted by whistles and now he’s a king.

“He deserves it because he trains very hard. I really like Romagnoli. He’s more than a captain.

“Working in front of Maldini and Leonardo puts some pressure on you, but it makes you feel good and makes you remember the club you’re playing for.

“Napoli must be careful not to drop any more points. We’re in the middle of a race for Champions League qualification and we’re not far from nights like those of Juve against Atletico Madrid.”

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