Proud Mihajlovic resigned to Milan fate


Sinisa Mihajlovic is ready to accept his fate as the pressure mounts on the AC Milan coach ahead of a daunting home match against Serie A leaders Juventus.

Milan's challenge for European football has suffered a setback in recent weeks, with the team winless in their last four league games, leaving them sixth, six points behind Inter, who occupy the final Europa League qualification place.

They could yet claim a berth in UEFA's second-tier competition courtesy of their appearance in the Coppa Italia final, either by beating Juventus in the decider or, should they lose, holding onto sixth position.

For now the Rossoneri's task does not get any easier, with reigning Serie A champions Juve due to visit San Siro on Saturday amid reports Mihajlovic could be sacked if they fail to produce a positive performance.

"Like every coach in the world, I'm judged on results," he said. "If the team does not perform in the next few games then it's right that I be sacked, even before the end of the season.

"As long as I'm here I'll give my all, I'll cross that bridge [dismissal] if it comes to it. I have a clear conscience and I try to transmit what I have inside of me.

"When things aren't going well it's right that people talk about the coach, and he faces up to his responsibilities. It's a normal thing, I've always done it and it's just my way of being.

"I don't have any problem holding my hands up, if there isn't the right spirit then I'm the first to take the blame and I have to transmit certain things.

"If I can't do that, then I've failed."

Mihajlovic confirmed the future of underperforming striker Mario Balotelli is out of his hands, after chief executive Adriano Galliani indicated the Italy international, on loan from Liverpool, was unlikely to become the target of a permanent transfer.

"You have to ask the club," he said of the 25-year-old's situation. "Galliani has said that for now he does not deserve [to stay].

"If you have the chance to play you must exploit it to the maximum. It depends on Balotelli and if the club approves it, then the coach comes last and can give the OK.

"It could be a great opportunity for him [Balotelli] as [it is] for everyone else," he said of the final weeks of the season.

"Balotelli knows he must take advantage of these seven to eight games regardless of how many minutes he plays."