“The Italian Cup is the best route to qualify for Europe.” AC Milan Mauro Tassotti

By Anna Italia
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           AC Milan – Spezia Calcio 

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Here are the declarations of AC Milan temporarily coach Mauro Tassotti on Tuesday 14 January 2014 at the Centro Sportivo Milanello.  Tassotti addressing the journalists on the eve of the Coppa Italia Round of 16 game, AC Milan vs Spezia Calcio to be played on Wednesday 15 January in San Siro

Speaking about tomorrow’s opposition Spezia: “Tomorrow is an
important match. It seems the best way to get back into Europe. In the
league we’re behind. Tomorrow we won’t experiment too much. It’s a
difficult time, but the players need to understand that tomorrow is a
vital match. We need to take advantage of the occasions that come our
way against Spezia and try to go all the way in the competition. It’s a
delicate moment for the club. We will have to be careful. Spezia have
some good players and a great coach. They will have lots of their fans
cheering them on and perhaps our fans will be angry. The Italian Cup is
the best route to qualify for Europe.”

There were naturally questions about the dismissal of Massimiliano Allegri:
“A dismissal is never easy to take. The atmosphere was very sad. We’re
in a privileged position, but it wasn’t an easy time for us. At the end
of the day, the coach pays the ultimate price, but we the staff also
share the responsibility. By now it’s too late. We had plenty of chances
to turn things around. The dismissal was inevitable. Yesterday was hard
and sad to see Allegri clearing out his locker. The results are what
hurt us the most. The defensive problems? Last year we also started
badly and recovered in the second part of the season, only losing to
Juventus and Barcelona. We played differently and better. This year we
started better, but we changed the way we played compared to last year.
We lost some important players and we’ve made the situation hard for
ourselves. Unfortunately things haven’t gone the way we planned and we
haven’t been able to sort it out.”

AC Milan temporary coach Mauro Tassotti during the press conference on the eve of the Coppa Italia Round of 16 game against Spezia Calcio

Asked about possible replacement Seedorf, here is what Tassotti had to say: “I’ve
been here 34 years and I’m committed to the club. I can give my
contribution and it seems logical to confirm my commitment. I don’t know
anything about Seedorf. What Allegri said is true. There have been
fantastic footballers who have coached for a couple of years only to
then realise they’re not up to the job. Of course, Seedorf has the
qualities in place to do well, he’s got great character and this will
help him a lot. A change in coach can certainly change things, but the
players also need to play their part. I haven’t got any advice for
Seedorf. He knows the Milan set-up as well as me. If he wants to know
the current situation of the players, I’m happy to bring him up to

Coach Tassotti put the match ahead of his future with the club: “The
thing that has worried me the most has been the injuries. This needs to
be looked at in my opinion. I chose to be an assistant. I had the
chance earlier to be a head coach, but I preferred to stay here. I’ve
got no regrets about it. The players need to understand the current
situation. They need to fight for every inch. We can’t perform like we
did at Sassuolo. To concede 4 goals in that manner is unacceptable.
Without taking anything away from them, our attitude was all wrong. We
expect the side to react. The side can play a couple of formations. I
have a contract until the end of June and I remain committed to Milan.
In June the club and I will talk. However, none of this is important,
the most important thing is tomorrow’s match.”

Mauro Tassotti had this to say about individual players:Pazzini will play tomorrow. In defence we will see and Rami has a good chance of playing. We’ll make sure Honda plays in his role. Abbiati
will play tomorrow. We’re happy with Honda and the minutes played
against Sassuolo. He showed his technical abilities and his danger in
the final third of the pitch. Kakà and Honda can play together. Birsa and Abate are recovering. We’ve never had Abate and De Sciglio together at the same time. They’re vital players to our game.”

A final word was reserved for the club’s management:
“The club has always been close to us. The squad need to understand
that you play in 11 for the good of the team, not for individual glory.
Despite a difficult first part of the season, the club has always been
there. We need to just focus on getting points.”

Click the video to watch the declarations of temporarily AC Milan coach Mauro Tassotti on Tuesday 14 January 2014 at the Centro Sportivo Milanello

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Sports Football, Italy Cup

AC Milan – Spezia
Coppa Italia Round of 16
Wednesday 15 January 2014
San Siro Stadium
Milan, Italy

Referee: RUSSO
Assistants: MELI – LONGO
Fourth Official: MAZZOLENI

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