Tuesday September 22 2015
Mihajlovic: 'Perfect Balotelli'

Sinisa Mihajlovic reveals he warned Milan of an Udinese comeback at half-time and hailed “perfect” Mario Balotelli.

The Rossoneri were 3-0 up at the break, yet eventually scraped a 3-2 result at the Stadio Friuli.

“The first half was good, it was one-way traffic and we were 3-0 up. As I told the lads at half-time, unfortunately teams last 90 minutes and not 45, so we have to continue with the same spirit,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia and Mediaset Premium.

“We immediately conceded a goal, the anxiety and fear set in and I think this is part of the growth process. We must learn to deal with these situations better.

“The second half was let’s say less enjoyable for us, but at least the crowd enjoyed it. Naturally we cannot score three goals every game to win. A 1-0 would be nice occasionally.

“There are things we need to improve, but these lads had a rough two or three years, so every now and then these nightmares spring up again to haunt them.

“We’ve proved that when we play the right way, we are a great team. The objective was to win without conceding. We won, but conceded twice.”

The goals arrived straight after Milan substituted 18-year-old right-back Davide Calabria.

“I changed Calabria because Udinese were pouring forward and had very tall players, so with that many free kicks and crosses, I preferred Alex to give us more aerial power. Calabria had a good game, it was purely a tactical move.”

Balotelli got the opening goal on his first start for Milan since arriving on loan from Liverpool.

“He had an excellent game, holding up the ball and putting up with a lot of fouls, never reacting. He was always sharp, proved he’s back to being the real Balotelli and that he knows how to control the provocation. He was perfect.

“Tonight he was man of the match, both in terms of his moves and his attitude. It’s not easy to have the entire crowd against you all the time. I am happy, but t’s just the beginning.

“His talent was never in doubt, it was an issue of the mind. The defenders beat him up because he’s good, but he scores goals anyway.

“We talked and I had to look him in the eye to know if what he said was real. So far his behaviour has been perfect and on the field he made the difference tonight. He needs to be consistent, training well, behaving well and playing well.

“I’ll make sure he sticks to the right path.”