First Team


All the post-match reaction from the San Siro after this evening’s 3-0 win over Chievo.

MILAN – Here’s what players and management had to say after this evening’s match between Milan and Chievo at the San Siro:


“This is football and you have to be patient. There’s been a big improvement in results and our play. Honda was extraordinary tonight and we’ll see where we are at the end of the season. It’s the 7th season for Kakà at Milan, 300 games he has played and I hope there are many more to come. I hope he stays here with us. He has a contract until 2015 but can leave in June 2014 if we’re not in the Champions League. I hope he doesn’t choose that though. Our relationship goes back 12 years. All the January signings are doing well, Rami, Taarabt and Honda, no complaints. Last season we got 42 points in the second half of the season and we have home matches coming up against teams that on paper look to be within our reach. If only we had won against Parma we’d be closer. It was a cursed match. We got more than a point a day in the last week. The second goal from kaka came from a great cross from Honda. You can see the team is growing well and fitness levels are much better. Zaccardo has good positioning and covers well. Bonera always does well at full back, Essien has played there as well and so has Poli. We have 9 days ahead of us now and the match against Genoa is now a key game if we want to continue moving forward. Mario almost scored a goal a game last season and without him we wouldn’t even have been in the Champions League. Now things are calm and let’s hope we can win the games coming up”.

“It hasn’t been a great period for results but the last three games have brought enthusiasm. Our objective is to get back into Europe but we need as many points as possible. There have been a lot of rumors about my future since I’ve been here, but I’m in no hurry. I’m happy here and we’ll decide at the end, I’m happy to stay and that’s all I’ll say about my future. I’ve already spoken with the coach and I’m here to do what I can for the team. What I like the most is to play centrally behind the strikers but you can’t always play in that position and sometimes the team needs something else. The five day retreat helped us a lot and we’re on the right road. Honda helps the team a lot and sooner or later the goals will come. He’s done well in the last two games and he works hard for the team”.

“It’s not east to always be ready when you’re called on. The last game I played was a month ago and today we won just like we did then. We’re happy and I think the fans will have liked the way we played tonight, like we did against Fiorentina, a team that attacks. We’ve been through a tough period and we slipped up in a few games as we did against Udinese but this group has potential. Now we have the chance to get back up the league table and that where we’ll start from. Next year we’ll be trying to get back into the Champions League. It’d be great if we always played like this. It was an important performance today and we have to realize that we have all the ingredients to do well. We have a few games left now and we’ll try and win them all. You can see a big improvement and we have to continue as we still have room for improvement. We have to stick together and follow the coach. We’ll recharge the batteries this week as last week we played three games and that was tough. Maybe some of the injured players will come back as well. We have a chance to work on some of the finer details now”.

"We have to try and get as many points as possible and keep fighting til the end of the season as there are many teams ahead of us and therefore we have to stay focused. The players did very well and they’re growing on a physical level as well as a mental level. Winning helps a lot as far as that goes. I’ve been working on balance since I got here, but that will come with time. I had to get to know the players and every day I’m getting to know them better. The same is true for them getting to know me. Honda is continuing to grow, Taarabt played well, Zaccardo was called upon in a difficult moment and he’s always ready. All of this helps me as a coach. I’ve been working on a personal level with Urby as he ash the quality to get up the pitch better and he did well this evening. These are all positive signals. Honda spends a lot of energy on the pitch and he’s always pushing. We have to give him more time but he showed some good things today and he has a lot of quality. Nigel is a great man and is always there when we’re in difficulty. Today I wanted to give him a bit of a rest and I’m glad the fans applauded him. Poli is very smart tactically and knows how to play the game. He adapts well and we have to figure out where he plays the best. Results will push us up the table an today we took a step forward. Next week we have to do the same moving forward game by game”.