MILAN – Nerazzurri coach Walter Mazzarri discussed his side’s 4-1 triumph over Lazio after the game.
"We’ve reached an important target? I’m pleased with the way we’ve handled things this year but let’s wait till next Sunday before making any final assessments.
"Kovacic? He’s growing, he needed to work on lots of things and you can see the improvement he’s making in every game. We knew he would because he came here as a young lad. And this is where I’d like to thank my staff because I told them what they needed to do with him and they’ve done it and helped the lad to improve. I think they’re doing an incredible job with this player. He’s got personality and tremendous talent, he just needed to learn how best to use it for the benefit of the team. Today he did things that led to goalscoring opportunities and he did nearly everything well.
"The lads were determined to bounce back after a game like the derby and they did superbly to turn around what looked like an uphill situation after just a minute. I know how this game works, I’m happy to accept everything, it’s fine if people want to get on the coach’s back, that way the lads had less pressure and could train calmly.
"The boos? I didn’t hear them to be honest, I was concentrating on the game. I’m the biggest fan of my team, when we lose I’m the first person who can’t sleep at night. In a strange year like this anything can happen, including losing a derby – I don’t think it was the first time – but we shouldn’t have lost like that. I’m the coach, I’m responsible and that’s fine. It’s been a difficult year and I’m a bit tired. The most nerve-wracking and tiring season of my career? Let’s wait. Differences between Naples and Milan? I think it’s similar wherever you go. Let’s say it would be better if the fans were kept more abreast of what’s going on and the problems we have to deal with.
"If people want to understand things they will, if not no. What matters is that things are clear amongst ourselves. This world we live in is quick to slash and burn, there’s a lot you could say about it. Emotions are expressed totally freely: in that sense social networks have ‘improved’ things – ironically speaking – a lot.
"Will we play a different system next year? Yes, I have everything clear in my mind. One of the difficulties this season was that in January it was all clear in my mind but we had to make some choices. Now, at the end of the season, I have things clear and we’ll try to build together next year. I don’t agree with those who say my team plays on the counter. My football is a bit different to that, but it depends on the qualities of the players you have.
"Europa League? I haven’t looked at the league table all season and I’m not looking at it now either. I’ve always said this year was about collecting information. Our ideas are clear. We’ve done it now? No, there’s another match left and we must try to get as many points as possible.
"What do I have to say to Zanetti? I’m happy with this game and with Javier. I told the lads we needed a good win for him and his party. He’s an example to be followed: I’ve often pointed to him this year when talking to the younger guys. This win is dedicated to him."