Milan: AC Milan coach Sinisa Mihajlovic gave his team another public dressing-down on Saturday, saying they could not play any worse than they did in their last Serie A outing.
The Serb, whose side face neighbours Inter Milan on Sunday, has raised eyebrows with his open criticisms since he arrived at Milan, but said his methods were aimed at getting the best out of his players.
Milan beat Empoli 2-1 two weeks ago, giving Mihajlovic his first league win since taking charge in June, but he was still angry at their performance and repeated his criticism on Saturday.
"It will be hard to give a worse performance than the one against Empoli," he told a news conference.
"Those that know me personally, know that I used those words to motivate my players and make them responsible."
"My ways can seem a bit direct, but I say what I think and I never settle for second best. I don’t look for excuses for me or for my team."
"My players are not children, so they weren’t offended by my words."
"Milan have struggled for three years and we have to get used to expecting more from ourselves. The sooner we do that, the sooner we will start picking up positive results," he added.
"It is not easy to move on after a difficult few years. We need to overcome this mental block because the quality and the desire is there."
Mihajlovic added that the supporters would respond when they saw the team playing well.
"Milan have a demanding set of fans who are used to winning," he said.
"When we are a courageous side the fans will give us their backing. Playing deep in our own half and playing with the fear of making mistakes is not good enough for an ambitious side."