09 February 2018
The coach at the press conference on the eve of the game against SPAL: "Calhanoglu is a positive surprise, happy with Biglia"
Another away league game awaits the Rossoneri who take on SPAL in Ferrara this Saturday (kick-off at 3 pm CET). At Milanello it was time for the regular pre-match press conference which followed the last training session of the players before leaving for Emilia-Romagna. It was Rino Gattuso to answer the questions from the media and this is what the gaffer had to say:
ON THE TEAM'S WORK
"We gave the boys two days' rest. We saw that it was important for the players to recharge their batteries, also thanks to the technology we use. We have to play nine games in the space of just a month. The team is doing well, I saw the boys less tired. I am very pleased with the past three training sessions, but we have to confirm this tomorrow.
"I know them well as I played SPAL in Serie C and in Serie B. They know what they have to do and have physical players pressing high up the pitch with three centre-backs and the two wingers, especially with Lazzari. It's not going to be easy as we play in a stadium which has been modernised, with a very passionate atmosphere.
ON THE LEFT FLANK
"Hakan (Calhanoglu) and Jack (Bonaventura) are playing with continuity and they are doing well. It's a matter of synchronism between them. I think Rodriguez can do a lot more, I'm expecting a lot more because he has the physical and mental qualities.
ON KALINIC'S INJURY
"He's suffering from an inflammation to the adductor region and we decided to give him 3-4 days' rest not to risk him. He has been living with this injury for three weeks now. He needs treatment and is not training with the group because we want this inflammation to reduce. I think he won't be ruled out for long as we found out in time. It's a pity, but we have (Patrick) Cutrone, André Silva and (Fabio) Borini, who too can play as centre-forward.
ON THE TEAM'S POSITIVE RUN OF FORM
"I think game after game and I always decide to field the best XI. I'm happy with the boys' desire, with how they are performing. The six red cards? It can also be a coincidence because this team doesn't make so many fouls. We have to become more experienced to avoid these mistakes.
ON THE RUNNING FOR A CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SPOT
"The other teams are slowing down but we have to win our games. It's not enough to play as a team and perform well to take home the three points. Sometimes, you also need a bit of luck. Sampdoria and Atalanta are above us and they have to be our target. We can't afford to think differently. We'll see where we are at the end of the season.
ON MIRABELLI'S WORDS AND HIS FUTURE AT THE CLUB
"I hope to continue the work I have started. As soon as you lose two games you are back being the one who doesn't understand anything about football, but this is part of the game. I played for 20 years and people always said many things about me. I started this job (as a coach) because I felt it inside of me. I like to update myself. There are people who have been coaching for 20 years and still haven't one a single trophy or league. I won the league in Serie C with a 1.5 million budget while other clubs had 6 million. If people say that Gattuso is only grit and desire there's nothing I can do about it.
ON THE TEAM'S IMPROVEMENT
"My merit was to strongly believe the team had to raise the bar in training, to work with great intensity. We see players who have improved and are physically doing better it's because they gave it all. I was expecting from all the players to improve. I was not expecting this physical strength from Hakan, I was surprised with him as I wasn't expecting him to be this complete.
ON THIAGO DIAS TO GIVE SUSO A BREATHER
"Thiago Dias and Suso are very different one another: Thiago is faster with the ball at his feet but still makes mistakes tactically while Suso has more skills. But the fact he sometimes trains with the first team shows that we believe in the boy although he still needs to work a great deal to become like Suso. We are all aware he (Suso) can't play all the games and we have already something in mind. But we'll decide what to do when the time comes.
ON THE INDIVIDUALS
"For the past 4-5 weeks, Biglia has run 12 km without losing a ball. If you look at his games with Lazio last season is the same and he also had an injury at the beginning of the season Bonucci is playing as a leader, of course, everyone is expecting more because he's one of the best defenders of the world. He has made a few mistakes, but everybody does.
ON ANDRÉ SILVA
"Silva can do a lot more. I see in training what he's capable of doing. All our strikers need to score as it's important for them. It's my staff's and my job to give him the opportunity to show his qualities. All our strikers are very strong although they are going through a difficult period".
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