Date: 8th August 2014 at 5:35pm
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AC Milan coach Filippo Inzaghi was encouraged with his side’s showing in North America despite a slew of poor results.

The Rossoneri were defeated in all three of their International Champions Cup games, and scored just one goal, but a little restbite came as they were victorious 3-0 against Chivas Guadalajara in their final friendly match.

“There is no sense looking at the results in the early matches because the fitness is not there and then we came up against really strong sides,” Inzaghi told the press.

“Overall, I am happy enough with the way things went and the team is getting fitter. A lot of players put in a lot of running in the matches and I could see that they were really giving it their all so I am positive.

“We have no injuries at all and injuries things can happen when you train little and play more and we have Jeremy Menez back fit again. Mattia De Sciglio picked up a knock but my staff and I are confident that the players are on the right track.

“I have seen great commitment from everyone, the boys are behind me and you can see it in their eyes.

“At the beginning I sensed fear in our play, born out of previous results. I dealt with this by working. Against Liverpool for example, we conceded two goals through our own errors but that’s fine because we were trying to play the ball.

“We want to impose our style of play and in Italy we can do it. We will dominate a lot of matches and I want us to play without fear. We will win our fans back by playing great football.

“We need to get to the first day of the season at 100 per cent. We need to understand that the team has to improve. And of course we cannot get too carried away with our 3-0 Chivas win.

“We can’t get too down after our earlier defeats either. We just have to think about improving. We have two difficult events coming up: the match at Valencia and then the Trofeo TIM.

“But with this spirit and the upcoming matches, we will have the chance to go into the Lazio game in the best shape. Our objective is to be ready for the first match of the new season.”

When asked about how he felt about the new season and the predictions made about his the Rossoneri will fair, the 40-year-old was resolute.

“Fortunately, my lads don’t read the papers that much and last season we finished eighth and there was a new coach so we need to have some patience.

“We will give everything in the league to reach a position where we deserve to be and the fans should know this. There are teams ahead of us but we have kept players who seemed to be leaving and we will give any team a hard time but I don’t know where we will finish.

“These players will work hard and make sure the fans are behind us. After one month of work I can confirm the team has heart. We will win the fans over.

“I need to do well and bring back the spirit to the team. I assure you that a lot of the players have an attachment to the Rossoneri. If the team sees the staff, the club and coaches working, the players will have to put everything into it too.

“You can’t create a winning group in 20 days but we are on the right track. I’d start from the compactness of the team which I saw the other night against Chivas. We were a bit unlucky [in the first friendly games] but I saw something positive even in the defeats.

“However, it would be delusional to think we don’t need to work. At Milanello we will recover and reach the best condition possible.

“[Nigel] De Jong will be back next week and then we will have [Riccado] Montolivo fit down the line. We have taken a lot of positives from this tournament and we found out that that likes of [M’baye] Niang, [Bryan] Cristante and [Riccardo] Saponara can play their part for the team.”

Inzaghi was also asked about Keisuke Honda’s place in the Milan side, as well as others like Mario Balotelli.

“The boy has always played and he is very underestimated. In my opinion he is very good and attentive. In the attacking midfield, mostly on the right, with his characteristics he can give us a real hand, particularly as a person.

“Mario Balotelli is doing well and his team-mates really love him. I have not found anything that has been said about him to be true and he is very relaxed. I hope he keeps training like he does.

“My aim is make each player 100 percent secure in his role depending on the characteristics he can bring to the team.”

Moving on to the transfer market, there have been rumours circulating that Milan president Silvio Berlusconi will offer Inzaghi the ‘gift’ of a big name signing.

“They’ve already gifted me by putting me on the bench,” the tactician said. “Milan have given me so much and I am proud to be coaching them.

“I hope this will be a positive year for Milan and for the fans as well as president Berlusconi, Adriano Galliani and Barbara Berlusconi. The best gift would be filling the San Siro again and we must do this on August 31. I know how the Milan fans think and they will be back.

“As for the transfer market, everyone knows very well which players I want and the club agrees with me so it is only right that Galliani talks about the transfer market.

“This is a competitive squad and if someone else arrives so much the better otherwise we have this squad. We will now get back to training and the club is well aware who I would like to bring in. However, it would be unfair to name names.

“I am pleased with what we have anyway and with the three young players – Niang, Cristante and Saponara – who came through on the tour. We must let the youngsters come through in a relaxed manner.”