Walter Mazzarri wants to see Torino “fired up and a little angry” against Milan, but warns opponents approach them differently now.
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The Granata suffered back-to-back defeats with Lecce and Sampdoria, so the pressure is on as they host stuttering Milan.
“We paid the price for being naïve and falling asleep on a throw-in against Sampdoria, so incidents like that end up cancelling out all the good work we did,” said the Coach in his Press conference.
“It was a vast improvement compared to the performance against Lecce. I try to protect my players when they are attacked for no reason.
“I don’t know where these complaints are coming from, I don’t believe they are from real Toro fans, but from people trying to destabilise us.
“The same goes for those trying to depict Simone Verdi as the saviour of this squad if he starts. He’s not Diego Maradona, let’s not expect him to solve all our problems. It’s important to let him be calm and focused.
“We don’t know if he can last 90 minutes or if we need to replace him by using up a substitution. You usually perform these tests in friendlies and not a competitive match.
“What we do need to work on is our tendency to try walking the ball into the net. We need more shots on target, even from distance, and improve the final ball.”
Mazzarri suggested the other issue is that Torino’s opponents have a different approach compared to when they were mid-table minnows.
“For the last year, we’ve been challenging for European positions and I knew that this season there would be more pressure and responsibility on us.
“We dominated many sides last season, but they don’t face us the same way as they did when we were 10th. When they saw us in the Europa League qualifiers, they started to respect us in a different way. The more you grow, the less people like you.
“I want to see a team that is fired up and a little angry, because we’ve proved that we can play football.”
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