Saturday September 12 2015
Mihajlovic: 'Milan can't do worse'

Sinisa Mihajlovic continued his tough love approach to Milan. “I’m optimistic against Inter, as we can’t do much worse.”

The Derby della Madonnina kicks off on Sunday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT), click here for a match preview.

They lost the opener 2-0 to Fiorentina and beat Empoli, but the Coach didn’t hold back on criticism.

“I am optimistic against Inter, because we can’t do much worse than the first two games,” said Mihajlovic in today’s Press conference.

“You wrote that some players were offended by my words, but saying that offended them because they are professionals and I’m just trying to get the best out of them. I always say what I think and don’t go looking for excuses.

“Winning the derby brings great enthusiasm, but ultimately it is only worth three points and it’s only Week 3.

“Inter won the first two matches, but with goals at the last minute. The derby is a separate entity and neither of the two sides are yet playing the football they want. We’ve both changed a great deal over the summer.”

Miha was Roberto Mancini’s teammate at Sampdoria, then assistant manager at Inter, so they know each other better than anyone else.

“When we talk, we never discuss football. Mancini said Milan are favourites? As I’m his friend, I’ll do everything to make sure his prediction is correct.

“We’ve been friends for 20 years and if I am here it is also thanks to him hiring me as an assistant manager. I am very grateful to him.

“Tomorrow we’ll be rivals for 90 minutes. My own Inter past? I don’t regret any of it, but my present is Milan and I am happy to be here.”

There are reports Riccardo Montolivo could be picked in midfield, while Rodrigo Ely is back from suspension.

“Montolivo and Nigel de Jong could play together, if we change system. So far we’ve focused on one system because we have great strikers and must put them in the best condition to score. Milan must not be afraid to attack.

“I make my decisions based on training sessions and for the good of the team. One of my doubts is on the second centre-back to put alongside Alessio Romagnoli.”

As for Mario Balotelli, don’t expect him to start any time soon after a year on the Liverpool bench.

“The problem is not his weight, but the fatty tissue. He needs to improve his muscular mass and reduce the percentage of fat in his body. In any case, he’s training well.”