(IN THE PHOTO: press-conference at Milanello) 
MILANELLO – The coach held a pre-game press conference on Saturday afternoon and looked ahead to the match with Sassuolo. 
Opening comments from Mihajlovic on the Neroverdi: "We’re fully aware that Sassuolo play good football and that they’re a dangerous outfit. They have got themselves back on track and it will no doubt be a very difficult game. But we have the abilities to compete and to win the match. Milan have never won at the Mapei Stadium, but as a coach I am unbeaten there. If the players keep up recent displays, we will win. When you are trailing in the table, the only way to make up ground is to win and at times even that is not enough. We have made up points on some of the teams ahead of us, but we know that we cannot afford to put a foot wrong. The next three matches will be crucial and they will reveal whether we can fight for third place or not. We will try and do our part. In my view, and I say this with enormous respect for them, we will finish ahead of Sassuolo in the table."  
The coach continued and gave his thoughts on specific players: "Menez and Balotelli don’t have the intensity that I am asking for at the moment. With this in mind, both have their pros and cons. The main thing however is that both of them try and leave their mark on the game and that is what I am expecting from them. In a Serie A game against Sassuolo, perhaps Menez would feel more at ease coming off the bench while Balotelli with his physical presence would be better in holding the ball up for the team. This is an idea I have in mind. I think Balotelli will start and then Menez will come on during the match. A return to the starting line-up for Diego Lopez? It all depends on how Donnarumma does. Bacca-Balotelli? Top players can play together with anyone because they speak the same language." 
Mihajlovic eyed up improvements and spoke more about individual players: "The team have been consistent with their results. Unfortunately this season, we have been unable to go on an extended winning run. We have to try and win every single match. I am aware of the size of the task at hand, but we will try. Bertolacci for me is a first-team starter. He has been alternated with Kucka and tomorrow he should play. Poli and Mauri did very well in the TIM Cup. When a player is given a chance, he has to take it. Kucka is playing well, and like I have said, Galliani deserves praise for the transfer operation. I knew Kucka would have taken his chance. He is like a tank and he battles on even when he is in pain. Balotelli has to stay focused on Milan and take this chance This applies to him and goes for the other players. The Milan no. 10 has to know the route to goal, but Honda is unique. He does a tough job and brings balance. In this formation, he is one of the most important players." 
During the press conference, the coach was joined by Christian Abbiati and Mattia De Sciglio: 
CHRISTIAN ABBIATI"Diego Lopez is an important and experienced player. I am happy that he is back in the match-day squad. We’re all pleased for him and he can give us a hand with his experience. Roma are in good shape and they are playing well, and so I think they are the biggest rivals for third place. I was following El Shaarawy when he was in France and he scored very few goals. Seeing him score on a regular basis makes me happy, but not so happy that Roma keep on winning…" 
MATTIA DE SCIGLIO"I am fired up for tomorrow and not just for the fact it will be my 100th appearance for Milan. It’s an important milestone especially at a club like Milan and by the age of 23. I am honoured and happy about reaching this objective. Should we win, it would make it even sweeter. It won’t be easy tomorrow, but we need to win to stay in touch with the sides above us in the table. We need to play with the right attitude and try and come away with all 3 points. Sassuolo’s three pronged attack are very good at cutting inside and making dangerous runs. They attack the space behind the defence and so we will have to be on our toes. They are very talented and so we will need to be fully focused for the entire 90 minutes. It would be great to be called-up to the Italy squad for the Euros with Abate and Antonelli, but we have to end the season well first of all for Milan."