(IN THE PHOTO: Filippo Inzaghi faces the media)
MILAN- This is what was said by coach Filippo Inzaghi in Saturday's press conference ahead of Parma-Milan on Sunday.These were Inzaghi’s opening comments about Parma: “Going back to Parma is always a pleasure for me. I started and scored my first Serie A goal with Parma so I have lots of great memories. However, tomorrow we have a very tough and difficult match to play in my opinion. Let’s hope we can go about it in the best possible way because it’s our first away match and it will be good to see at what stage we’re at away from the San Siro.”This is what Inzaghi expects from the Parma match: “Every match is fundamental but I can’t always look solely at the result and I have to also look at the performance. I hope that tomorrow will be a performance that mirrors the spirit showed against Lazio. Then, in football anything can happen. You can play well and perhaps not pick up all 3 points but what I have to now see is continuity in terms of performance, results and growth in my side. That is what I am expecting. I am confident because I can see every day how my players are training and this leaves me very calm. I cannot wait for the match tomorrow to see our actual progress. We can’t forget that this team comes from an eighth place finish last year and needs time, certainties and has to construct its own identity.”Asked about the starting line-up in attack: “In every match I will see who to play in attack based on the characteristics of the opponents. I’ve told all my players that the substitutes are as important as the first team players because I believe that the final half an hour of a match is very important."More questions about the first team for the Parma match: "Alex will start. I have a few doubts about the other centre back which will become clearer in the final training session. I have some very strong centre backs available to me and I am spoilt for choice just like in the attacking department. I don’t know if Torres will start tomorrow. I will decide based on today’s training session.”Pressed about Torres and a possible start, he said: "Our playing system won’t change. If Torres plays, he will play as a centre forward. I’ve noted that he’s in shape and he trains very well. He’s impressing everyone and it pleases me. He’s had a hard year but from the tests and training sessions he’s an example to others. I am happy he is with us.” El Shaarawy meanwhile seems unlikely to feature: "Today we will evaluate the fitness of El Shaarawy but he doesn’t seem well. It’s a shame as he was in great form. However within the squad we have players up to the standard to replace him. I am spoilt for choice, I have many players that can replace him. All of the players are training well, this is a great thing and I thank them for this. They all give their all and I have seen the right spirit, the one that Milan has always had. The Milan DNA that distinguishes us and is embodied in the spirit of our President that comes to see us every Friday to motivate us. The enthusiasm of the President is amazing. His visits could make the difference this year. I would be happy if he came every Friday to Milanello. The road ahead is still long. We’re still a work in progress but the foundations are good.”Individuals: “Pazzini has been back for a few days and I know what he is worth. He’s an exemplary lad. He will be very useful to us. He has my respect and I want the best for him. I will try as much as possible to use the entire squad available. Bonaventura as a wide midfielder could become very strong. We have Saponara and slowly we will find space for him. Van Ginkel has arrived on the back of 2 matches with the Holland Under-21 team and can play in all the central midfield roles. He has to settle and I have to get to know him better. He will be on the bench and I know he will be ready when we need. Honda this year took part in the entire pre-season and it shows. He’s doing really well in terms of spirit and desire. He’s an example. First to training and maybe he even trains at home. This is the spirit that has to liven our players. I think he will play.” A word about the fans: "We have to win back the fans with heart. We will need lots of great performances. They will then help us and make the difference as always. If we feel the fans close to us, we can give that little bit extra this season.” Inzaghi touched on a few other points: "We are all working and adapting based on the characteristics of the squad. We have to also look at the spirit and how we reach our results. I have to judge what I see but it’s clear that results would help us grow quicker. Conte has been coaching for a while and has won a lot. I am happy that he’s the national team coach. He will help many players develop." Final reflections on Parma and what the side has to do to cut the gap to the top sides: “Parma at home transform themselves. Last year they collected 6 points against us. We will find Cassano who is always a danger. To cut the gap with the best sides we have to do a lot. We can’t deceive ourselves with the positive results. The road is long. We have to take things one game at a time. We can’t set ourselves limits and we have to give what we can. We will see in 3 months what stage we’re at and what we have done out on the pitch.”