(IN THE PHOTO: Michael Essien during a previous training session)MILANELLO – This is what Michael Essien had to say in an exclusive interview with the Milan Channel yesterday:Speaking about his debut with the Milan jersey: "I’m really happy to have played 90 minutes, it hadn’t happened for a long time. Unfortunately the result wasn’t a positive one. We need to continue playing together and things will only get better. As the game went on I felt better and better. It was important for me and the more I play the better it will get. I tried to score, but it didn’t quite go to plan.”Apart from Essien’s first start for Milan, there was another positive note at the San Paolo with Adel Taarabt’s performance: "Taarabt scored a great goal and allowed us to finish the first half level with Napoli. The goal will help increase his confidence. He’s a good player, young and the more he plays the more his confidence will develop which will lead to improved performances on the pitch.”The Ghana midfielder also had this to say about how he has settled in at the club: "I know Muntari and De Jong really well and I’m happy to play on the same team as them. I got to know De Jong in England when we both played there. I also know Kaka’ from our time together in Madrid. I’m delighted to be reunited with them all again. It’s a pleasure to have them as team-mates and I’m happy to be a part of the Milan family. It’s wonderful to be amongst a group of players like this."On Friday Milan take on Bologna in the league before the Champions League gets going once again. Michael Essien was clear with his words: "We need to play to the best of our abilities against Atletico. I don’t know who will play, but whoever does will have to give their all. The coach will decide who plays. They’re a strong team, I’ve played against them a couple of times when I played in Spain. They’re playing really well. To win we need a top performance. We need to work hard and hope to win."It has been a season of highs and lows for Milan, but the strength of the group is vital at a time like this. Essien added the following: "It’s a difficult season for Milan. We need to remain united, all try that little bit harder and help each other out. We’re Milan and things will have to get better."The final comments were reserved for coach Clarence Seedorf with whom Essien already has a great relationship: “I still struggle to understand the coach when he speaks in Italian, but I often speak with him. I’m really happy here and I’m settling in at Milan in the best possible way.”