Sunday February 8 2015
Mihajlovic: 'Samp not chasing third'

Sinisa Mihajlovic defended his treatment of Samuel Eto’o and insisted Sampdoria “are not fighting for third place.”

The Blucerchiati were held to a 1-1 home draw by a decimated Sassuolo today.

“It wasn’t easy, as we were coming off a 5-1 defeat at Torino and conceded after a minute, so there was the risk the team would crumble and not react,” Mihajlovic told Sky Sport Italia.

“Thankfully that was not the case. We reacted well in the first half, but I think the draw was the right result.”

The Coach was asked whether this misstep would damage Sampdoria’s chances of chasing third.

“Let it be absolutely clear: we are not fighting for third place. When we get all our players back then we can see where we end up, but at the moment we’re doing well to be where we are. We deserved those points, but have to see where we are in two or three months.”

Eto’o was given another run-out as a substitute just days after he stormed out of training.

“Eto’o apologised, we cleared the air, he knows that he got it wrong and is loved by everyone in the locker room. We hope he can reach full fitness as soon as possible.

“He worked hard today and is not at his best, but these little chunks of matches help him to find form. When he’s at the same fitness levels as his teammates, then he will play.

“I did not order double training sessions to punish the players this week. After all, my staff and I are with them too, so I would end up punishing myself. It’s just about getting the group united again.”

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