Mazzarri: “Bounce straight back”

MILAN – “We didn’t play well today, though we were better in the second half. It really meant a lot to us, we spent a lot of nervous energy, we weren’t ourselves, that’s been our season, lots of ups and downs.” This is what Nerazzurri coach Walter Mazzarri said following AC Milan v Inter.

“We performed well against Napoli, less so today. A derby comes down to how you handle the occasion and AC Milan probably managed it better than we did.

“We were all downbeat in the dressing room, there was nothing to say. We’ll train tomorrow morning at 11:00, we’ll put this derby behind us and start thinking about Lazio: our league position is in our own hands. I hope this defeat motivares us for the Lazio game.

“We weren’t under too much pressure but we didn’t play as I like us to, we weren’t lively enough. In the second half they won a few more set-pieces and they’re good from those. We needed to get through that tricky spell. It’s one of those seasons, we need to do well in the matches we have left and go again.

“We didn’t get the ball out wide quickly enough, even when we did use the flanks we didn’t get the ball forward quickly. They were sharper to the second balls, more physical and committed. Sometimes you expend a lot of nervous energy before the match and go into it a bit worn out. We need to put this game behind us.

“In matches like these you can lose your head and go down to ten men, so you need to keep your cool. When you’re really up for a game, it’s not about your legs but your head.

“We’re not a team that can manage a whole game, we’ve tried. We didn’t make a bad start to the first period, but we didn’t need to think about two results. It’s one thing what you want to do, it’s another what you actually do. We were awkward, slow, and we didn’t play well because of the tension.

“Has Kovacic taken a step back? He played well in the first half, but he still had a decent match. But a coach should never talk about individuals, the whole team needed to play better. We shouldn’t be thinking about him, perhaps some of the more experienced players could have helped him out. We all need to take on responsibility, myself first and foremost, then everyone else. We’ll talk about this match and its details, and I hope to see a reaction in our next match against Lazio, which will be tough.

“AC Milan didn’t create great chances but they did well to make the most of their set-pieces.”