Bologna President Joey Saputo hailed Coach Sinisa Mihajlovic for transforming their attitude. “I never want to experience that again.”
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The 3-3 draw at Lazio mathematically secured their Serie A safety, but that seemed utterly improbable only a few weeks ago.
“I see this as two seasons in one. The first part was not something I want to experience again, while the second was fantastic,” the President told Sky Sport Italia.
“It’s true this evening is a celebration, but we have another objective to fight for. A week ago we were fighting to avoid relegation, tonight we are fighting for 10th place. Football is incredible.”
Mihajlovic took over from Pippo Inzaghi with the team in a desperate situation, but transformed their approach to the game.
“I don’t know how he’s done it, as I was not in the locker room, but I am very happy to have chosen a Coach who can bring some glory back to this club.
“I said at the start of the season that we had a squad capable of great things and we saw that in the second half of the campaign. I always told the players not to be afraid of defeat and that perhaps was the problem, as we were more afraid of losing than we were determined to win.
“Mihajlovic helped to change that mentality and that is what made the difference.”
Saputo also made big adjustments to the personnel in the January transfer window, bringing in the likes of Nicola Sansone, Roberto Soriano and Lyanco.
“My philosophy is that I never want to experience that again. It means investing in a competitive squad and that is what I will do. It’s not the fans who made me do it, but I am a very competitive person and I never again want to see Bologna where we were in the first half of the season.”