Mihajlovic explains Eto’o approach

by | Mar 21, 2015 10:19

Sinisa Mihajlovic reveals why he’s so harsh on Samuel Eto’o and other Sampdoria players as they take on Inter.

It kicks off on Sunday at 19.45 GMT, click here for a match preview.

“I await this game as if it were a Cup Final,” Miha told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Sinisa Mihajlovic reveals why he’s so harsh on Samuel Eto’o and other Sampdoria players as they take on Inter.

It kicks off on Sunday at 19.45 GMT, click here for a match preview.

“I await this game as if it were a Cup Final,” Miha told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“If we’re facing Inter in a challenge for European places and some of my players lack motivation, I’d tell them to get a new profession. If I realise anyone is holding back on Sunday, I’ll send them to play in the local park.

“I don’t fake anything with my players. I speak clearly and ask for the rules to be respected, but I also know how to joke around with my lads. I did play football for a few years, so I know the mentality.

“I played for Yugoslavia, who at the time were called the Brazil of the Balkans. We had phenomenal players, but never won because everyone did their own thing.

“I learned that lesson. It’s not true that talent can do well without rules. In fact, it’s when you work hard and sacrifice yourself that you go from being a talent to a champion.”

Mihajlovic put that attitude into action when initially excluding big January signing Eto’o, including reports the striker would walk out just days after the transfer from Everton following a training ground row.

“When everything works, we are an organised, proud, ambitious team who know how to make the most of their most talented players.

“A Coach must learn to vary systems even during the same match. We had a very specific shape, then the January transfer window shook things up a bit and it took a few weeks to create new chemistry.

“Let it be clear, I strongly wanted Luis Muriel and he was the only alternative to Manolo Gabbiadini. We knew that we could revive his career and we’re only at the beginning.

“As for Eto’o, nobody doubted his talent or all he has done in his career. The problem, if anything, was to do with his fitness levels and willingness to enter a new reality for his standards like Samp and to deal with a demanding Coach like me…

“Once he had time to get used to it, he is already becoming the added bonus we thought he could be.

“After the game against Roma, where he also ended up playing as a full-back, he smiled at me and said he was sacrificing himself like in the Inter days.

“I appreciated that, because with Jose Mourinho he was 29 years old, but now he is 34.”

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