Sinisa Mihajlovic remains convinced that his inconsistent Milan side will reach their goals in Serie A this season as they round off 2015 with a trip to struggling Frosinone on Sunday.
Much was expected of Mihajlovic when he replaced Filippo Inzaghi at San Siro in June, but with the top-flight campaign heading for a mid-season break the jury remains out on his stewardship.
A run of just one win in their past five league matches has left Milan seven points off the Champions League places in seventh.
The pressure mounted on Mihajlovic after a 0-0 stalemate at strugglers Carpi was followed by a disappointing 1-1 draw at home to rock-bottom Verona.
Milan eased some of Mihajlovic’s worries with a comfortable 2-0 win at his former club Sampdoria in the Coppa Italia on Thursday.
And the head coach has called on Milan to end the year in style at the Stadio Comunale Matusa this weekend.
“The results with Carpi and Verona were not positive because our name is Milan,” he said. “They are games to be won, and I think we deserved to win.
“If we had won against Verona we would have taken 18 points from nine games, or two points per game, which is an average that takes you into the Champions League.
“We’ve not been taking advantage of our chances, but we’ve never lost faith and we’re convinced we’ll reach our goal.
“We are now aiming to win at Frosinone this weekend to go into the winter break with less pressure on us.”
Mihajlovic insisted before the Sampdoria win that he was not worried about his future amid suggestions Milan were looking to sack him, claims he repeated after the match.
“I only think about working. I have a strong character, and these rumours are like water off a duck’s back for me,” he added.
“I’m not worried, because we have such a high level in training. I’d be concerned if the team wasn’t training well, but that’s not the case.”
Frosinone have struggled in their first season in Serie A and find themselves in the bottom three after 16 matches.
However, Roberto Stellone’s side have proved difficult to beat on home soil and 13 of their 14 league points have come at the Matusa.
Milan mark one of Frosinone’s biggest home challenges to date, though, with the likes of Juventus, Napoli, Inter and Fiorentina all set to visit in the second half of the campaign.
Key Opta stats:
– Milan and Frosinone have never met in Serie A or Serie B.
– In their last six league games Frosinone have conceded at least two goals.
– Milan have won only one of their last five league games (D3, L1) – they have not scored in three of them.
– In 2015 Milan have won only four of their 19 away games and they have kept only three clean sheets.
– Milan have the same number of points they had last season after 16 matches (25).
– Carlos Bacca has scored seven goals in this Serie A, from 12 shots on target.