Saturday January 21 2017
Mihajlovic: 'Don't crucify Torino'

Torino Coach Sinisa Mihajlovic urged critics to be “more realistic and not take progress for granted. Juan Iturbe was crucified, he’s not Leo Messi.”

The Granata take on Bologna on Sunday at 14.00 GMT, click here for a match preview.

Miha was furious after his side threw away a 2-0 lead and saw a penalty saved in the 2-2 draw with Milan on Monday night.

“I want to clarify a few things first off the bat,” said Mihajlovic at this morning’s Press conference.

“We are the first to be angry and disappointed at dropping points, but we must be honest and realistic: I tried raising the bar to make us more ambitious, targeting difficult objectives to stimulate growth. You can ask a side to go beyond its limitations, but not condemn it if that doesn’t happen.

“This team has been asked to do something beyond the norm. It can be criticised if the approach is wrong, but that is not the case at Toro. We are having an excellent season and set a club record for points: a side that has 21 points on home turf, who would be in the top spots if games ended at half-time, and has the fourth-most prolific attack in Serie A.

“Yes, we could’ve done better on our travels, but it’s also true that only Napoli really dominated us. It’s also true we lost 12 points from leading situations.

“This team was built to target the higher zones of the table and face everyone with open and attacking football, which is what we are doing.

“Our objectives now are to stay up there, respect the shirt and tradition of this club and entertain the fans. Unfortunately, Juventus, Milan, Napoli, Roma, Inter, Lazio and Fiorentina are better-equipped than us. What we’ve achieved under a new Coach with many new players and a new system is not to be taken for granted.”

Mihajlovic tried to take some of the pressure off his players, above all in the trident attack.

“Iago Falque basically hadn’t played for a year and is doing a great job. Adem Ljajic was never consistent even before coming here, but he’ll certainly score double figures this season.

“As for Iturbe, it’s not as if we signed Leo Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, but after one game this player was crucified. He needs to be given the opportunity to recover his confidence.

“I am here to tell you nothing is to be taken for granted. We started from scratch and must be more realistic.”

However, the ever-diplomatic Mihajlovic still had words for Maxi Lopez, who he famously accused of being so overweight this summer he was “carrying a washing machine” around with him.

“The washing machine is still there.”

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