First Team

COACH ENJOYS DERBY VICTORY


The interviews following the 3-0 victory over the Nerazzurri.

MILAN – This is what was said after the 3-0 win over Inter on Sunday night at the San Siro in round 22 of Serie A:

SINISA MIHAJLOVIC
"Everybody deserves a night like this. The President, the club, the players and the fans. A convincing win like this is a result of everyone playing well, all areas of the team. Alex has to be managed carefully and with the right mix of training and rest. He has always been a good player and brings experience and quality. Honda is popular with coaches because he can be relied upon by his team-mates and his coach. He doesn’t let them down. Abate plays with character and he encourages the others. Montolivo is a talented player and he has improved a great deal. He brings balance to our game. We are on the right track. Tonight has been the happiest moment of my coaching career, but from tomorrow we will set our sights right away on Palermo. We have always had confidence in our abilities and step by step that is starting to show."

RICCARDO MONTOLIVO
"We worked for this win, I think we deserved it, and I am also happy with the three goal winning margin. There is plenty of room for improvement, but we always give our heart and soul. On nights like this, the San Siro is the most beautiful stadium in the world. The closeness of the President is vital. He congratulated us and it is always a pleasure to have him present at the stadium. From tomorrow, our focus will be on Palermo."

CARLOS BACCA
"I dreamed of giving my very best. These matches are really important for morale. My goal tonight means a lot to me. For the team, for the fans and for my daughter. I want to dedicate this goal to her. I always try and do my best and my goal is for my daughter, who celebrates her birthday today. There were lots of new players at the start of the season and it took time to gel, but now we are a team and we are tough to beat. We play to enjoy it and even away from the pitch there is a great spirit amongst the squad. The President is a massively important figure for all of us. Thanks to God we collected 3 points and now we must keep on working hard. We have to keep our feet on the ground though. This win could give us a big boost, but we also have to play well on Wednesday away at Palermo. Galliani told me that I reminded him a bit of Inzaghi and Shevchenko. I am really proud to be compared to such great players. I want to leave my mark here at Milan. To live up to the standards of Asprilla and other top Colombian players makes me really happy."
  

ALEX
"The team is there. We work hard every day and tonight we played really well. We have to play like this in every match, and not just the derby, if we want to improve our position in the table. The choreography from the fans was wonderful and so was the atmosphere. It was really moving and the fans really helped us. There aren’t many days to prepare for the mid-week match at Palermo, but we are a strong group of players and the coach will send out a side with the aim of winning."
  

ADRIANO GALLIANI
"This season we have altered between great displays and matches in which we have dropped points. We have shown however that we can beat the sides above us in the table. Now, we must climb back up the table. I don’t like to get carried away because we have had lots of ups and downs so far this season. Let’s enjoy tonight’s win though as a 3-0 victory like this will live long in the memory. Honda? He is a hard worker, he tracks back, he wins the ball and the coaches see this. Honda is a key player for us. On the right of midfield, he is doing well and he has a decent foot for crossing too. I was really, really impressed with Kucka tonight. He has incredible physical abilities while Alex was fantastic. He was hampered by injuries last season but he’s a top player. Otherwise, he would not have played for so many big sides throughout his career. But let’s keep our feet on the ground. We are only in sixth place and let’s see what happens now on Wednesday versus Palermo. Bacca for me is extraordinary. He has one chance and he makes it count. He reminds me a bit of Inzaghi. He’s ruthless in front of goal and he has now scored 13 goals this season. The President enjoyed the win, even if it must be said that he is a Milanese citizen first of all and he has never cheered against Inter. For all that he has done over the past 30 years, we owed him a night like this.
The entire squad is behind he coach. You can say what you want, but I know when players are against the coach. Even in the most testing times, and I always told the President, the players have been with the coach. The first goal was the most memorable one for me tonight."

SINISA MIHAJLOVIC (press conference)
"We are now making up ground after a slow start to the season. I want to take things one game at a time though. Apart from the opening 15-20 minutes, when we were under pressure because we didn’t close them down enough, we eventually got into our stride and played well. We could have done better on a couple of counter attacks, but we gave a good performance and I feel this is a deserved victory. All of the players were aware of the importance of this match. It will now be important to motivate the squad for the coming matches because the motivation for the derby comes by itself. When you don’t collect positive results, it’s only normal that your position is in doubt. But I like the pressure, it’s more exciting and interesting this way. I haven’t given any sort of lesson to Mancini tonight. He remains a great coach. We are now one a piece in terms of derbies this season. I do my job and focus on myself. The President was happy. We have dropped points along the way this season, but if we keep this up, we can achieve a lot of great things. The real Milan is still to come."

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