Milan against Juventus is no ordinary game and, as Sinisa Mihajlovic spoke to journalists ahead of his side’s Serie A meeting with the champions tomorrow evening at the San Siro, he was keen to stress the significance of getting a positive result.
Not only are the sixth-placed Rossoneri in search of boosting their aspirations of securing a Europa League berth, they are also keen to bring an end to a six-match losing streak at the hands of the Bianconeri – their longest so far in the history of this fixture.
“It’s the kind of match which can get the heart beating,” Mihajlovic began. “We’re preparing well for it. There’s plenty at stake both in terms of prestige and our position in the league table. We want to make sure that we finish the season on a high.”
Milan are enduring their worst run of the season to date, having taken just two points from their last four league matches – a series of results which saw Mihajlovic opt to close ranks over the course of the past week at the club’s Milanello training base.
Quizzed about that decision, the 47-year-old Serb explained: “When something’s not right it’s important to speak to one another face to face. It was not a punishment, but something that was necessary to help us correct our mistakes. I hope that the team can push on and put in a great performance tomorrow.
“We’re coming up against the strongest side in Italy during our most difficult period. I have a lot of respect for Juventus, its players and their will to win. They’re an example to everyone. It will be a very difficult match in which we need to start playing the way we were when things were going well earlier in the season.”
Commenting on his debut season at the reins of the Rossoneri, the former Sampdoria manager admitted that he had run into certain difficulties along the way, but he was determined to end the campaign in as strong a fashion as possible with a Europa League spot to fight for and May’s Coppa Italia final against Juventus to look forward to.
“There’ve been some good periods, but we’ve not been consistent enough. We’ve tried all kinds of things and I had expected us to move up a gear, but we’ve ended up taking a step back of late. We’ve still seven league games left and the Coppa Italia final afterwards. It’s our duty to finish at least sixth.”