Mancini: “The team played well. We’ll work to improve”

MILAN – The Milan derby ended 1-1. It was a draw that Roberto Mancini saw as a positive result on his return to the Nerazzurri dugout: “Derbies are always difficult and that was the case today. I’m very happy with how the team played, we changed a system that had been used for the last 18 months and it was never going to be easy. I’m happy, they all played well. I didn’t think I’d revolutionise things in five days, it’s only natural you have a few issues at the start. We’re a long way off third place but it’s too soon to be looking at the table. Our aim is to win as many games as possible even though we’re not 100%.” He then discussed tactics with some suggesting the Nerazzurri lack a playmaker: “We’ve had a few more problems because I wasn’t able to get to know everyone in the squad due to injuries and players being away on international duty. M’Vila is a quality player and can also fill in there but he still needs to reach full fitness, just like Hernanes. There are still some players to come back. “We had some understandable difficulties with the three up front. They had to work hard defensively and they still need to improve their movement but we can move forward through hard work. It might take some time to master a back four but we have players in the squad who play that system with their national teams. We definitely have to improve.” Finally a word on individual performances, beginning with a member of the media asking Mancini if Kovacic played too wide: “He’s a young player and we shouldn’t put too much pressure on him. It’s only natural he goes through some tricky spells, and you need those to become a better player. He’s got some work to do but Mateo is young and can operate in a number of different positions. He has quality and he still has a lot to learn, it takes time. “I’m happy with Guarin’s performance. We lost the ball frequently when trying to knock it about and that must not happen again. We’ll also improve on that front.”