(IN THE PHOTO: Inzaghi gives out instructions)
MILAN- This is what was said by the players, management and the coaching staff after Milan-Chievo at the San Siro on Saturday night:
CEO ADRIANO GALLIANI"Honda is an important player. Last year he didn’t do pre-season with us and he arrived from a different league. Even Platini did very little in his first season. It takes more skill in picking up free signings than spending millions for a player. Asian Cup? We’ll be complaining. I’m devastated that Honda will be going away for it. Honda is fundamental. He’s very, very good. Technically he’s super. El Shaarawy? He came on with determination and he has excellent technique. Up front we have lots of choice. Pippo will have to rotate his players. Let’s leave him to work. Abate? He has problems with his ankle. For this reason he was not called up to the Italy team. He needs a break on the sidelines. Abate is super. There’s no need to worry, there’s no one who plays like this in Italy. I know I’m a little bit biased, but like this you can’t exclude him from the national team. Today was an important step forward, if we had won against Empoli and Cesena we would be in a very, very good position indeed. We’re first in the group that is following. The absolute cohesion within the club is important, we’re all together and confident. Montolivo? He should make it for the end of November. At the end of October he has another test. The tibia needs to heal. After the okay from the doctor he can begin training, he could be back for the derby. It’s down to the healing times of a broken bone. We all think he can be back for the second part of November. Another player that I like is Bonaventura. He’s very versatile. There are many positive notes. This victory is worth double. We’re happy now for the next 2 weeks. Then we play at Verona after the international break, a team high up in the table."
COACH FILIPPO INZAGHI"We did very well in attack this evening, otherwise we wouldn’t have the best attack in the league. They were very closed at the start, I changed the formation, we forced them to open up and this allowed us to play better. I think that we all did well today. We didn’t concede a goal. Honda is in excellent form. He scored a wonderful goal. Let’s keep a tight hold of these 3 wins, the good performances and the good football. We will be at risk slightly wanting to play with 4 forwards, that’s normal. Honda deserves it, he believed in his abilities, he’s very altruistic, a top professional, he always arrives 2 hours before training. He deserves this success. I knew that having to always leave out one of Torres, Menez and El Shaarawy it wouldn’t be easy, but the coach has to make choices. I am relaxed when choosing. Of course, if Stephan has this spirit he won’t be out of the team long."
CHRISTIAN ABBIATI"The important thing was collecting 3 points. We were missing a win for a while, despite the good football that we played in the last matches where the results didn’t come. It wasn’t easy against a well organised side today, not by chance did they win at Napoli. They were good in the first-half but then we were able to make the break-through in the second half. El Shaarawy and Poli, who perhaps thought they would start, came off the bench and did well. They showed they were ready and this is the spirit of Milan players. For the coach it isn’t easy to make his choices. Congratulations to everyone, everyone was really good. Everyone is making it hard for the coach to choose. The squad has never got carried away. Thanks to Sulley for the goal that allowed us to take the lead. Honda is very good from set-pieces. He’s having a really good season."
SULLEY MUNTARI"We had collected 2 draws, so my goal was liberating. Every time we take to the pitch we want to win and we’re happy to have done so. You can never give in and you have to keep on working, even in the difficult moments. Only like this can we come through it all. It’s not easy, but we want to stay on this path. We have our feet on the ground. The coaching staff are helping us a lot. We have no excuses and we must always take to the pitch with strength and the goal of winning in our minds. It’s important that the team wins, so if I score a goal it's valuable for everyone."
NIGEL DE JONG "We played well today. It was a good step forward. This is the right road to take, let’s continue like this. We always do well upfront, but the defence also had a great game and in fact we didn’t concede a goal and this is important for morale and the spirit of the group. Honda and Bonaventura are good players for this team. Jack is new and very good. Honda is important to us, but all the other players are as well, even those that are on the bench are important. I try to win every challenge, but unfortunately I got booked and I will be suspended. The main thing though is the 3 points for the team."
GIACOMO BONAVENTURA"I’m happy. I dedicate a lot to this profession and to football and my call up to the Italian national side is a great satisfaction. I’m happy for the victory and for the call-up. Conte demands the very best, for this reason I am even happier but I have to keep on working. In the first 10 minutes I was a bit tense, it was my first time at the San Siro with this shirt, but then I got used to it and relaxed. I can always do better, but the important thing is to be there, the goal will come. El Shaarawy came on strong. When you have lots of good players someone has to sit out, the coach tells us this all the time. This team in my view can do better. We have to continue working but we can achieve great things, we’re on the right path. In 33 days everything has changed: I’m playing in a fantastic team, if I think about the day I arrived…it was extraordinary. I’m on the right track. I had a good pre-season with Atalanta, I was fine and of course I did well to take my chance when I was called upon and I scored on my debut. This team has lots of good players."
COACH INZAGHI (PRESS CONFERENCE)"Chievo covered well in the first-half. We had two or three chances and we weren’t at risk. We have to improve on certain things, but to be the best attack and to have not conceded a goal is very positive. We go into the international break with this victory. Bonaventura started as a wide midfielder on the right. At this moment he’s in excellent physical condition and he can also play there. From when I changed the playing system, we did well and Chievo gave up a bit. The defence did very well and we suffered only down to our carelessness. Alex and Rami were good, De Sciglio was very good. He received lots of criticism but showed he has great desire and I am happy about that. I have lots of options upfront and I would like to play at least 4 forwards, but we must be cautious. Leaving one of Menez, El Shaarawy and Torres on the bench is not easy for a coach. El Shaarawy with this desire shown will be on the bench very little. Torres was unlucky. He could have scored this evening. He’s coming off the back of a year where he played little and I have tried to give him playing time in these matches. Then I thought that a fresh El Shaarawy could help us and in fact he won the free-kick. I know the President is very happy. Adriano Galliani and Barbara Berlusconi passed on his compliments. He was missing because of an unforeseen circumstance and he was upset. I’m sure that his words to the team on Friday had an effect. All the credit for what Honda is doing is his. He’s demonstrating to me some impressive things from a technical and behavioral point of view. He arrives 2 hours before training and leaves 2 hours after. He has an incredible attitude and I am happy. From the first day I saw excellent qualities in him. It’s clear that he must continue but the signs are promising. Honda took the responsibility of taking the free-kick and struck it very well."