AC Milan coach Sinisa Mihajlovic insists he is “unfazed” by the rumours linking Marcello Lippi with the top job at San Siro.
Former Italy and Juventus boss Lippi is out of work after leaving Guangzhou Evergrande in February and reports in Italy this week suggested the 67-year-old was being lined up to replace Mihajlovic, with Milan in eighth place in Serie A having won just one of their last five league games.
The Serbian, however, is confident he retains the support of president Silvio Berlusconi and is optimistic Milan can kick-start their season at home to Fiorentina on Sunday.
He said at the pre-match news conference: “I speak with the president at least once a week. He is always kind and respectful to me. Nothing has changed in our relationship.
“I am unfazed by all the rumours. I have broad shoulders. I do my job with my head held high and I am calm.
“I tell the team to shut it all out and focus on playing. The team are in good shape physically and they are all giving 100 per cent. The whistles from the crowd certainly don’t help, but the lads are giving their best.”
Fiorentina were comfortable 2-0 winners over Milan on the season’s opening weekend but Mihajlovic believes his side have improved since then.
He added: “I hope that we can turn the situation around and begin to climb back up the table. It’s a big match and a lot is at stake because a win would take us six points behind Fiorentina in the table. There is a long way to go until the end of the season and we have the time to make up ground on the sides above us.
“The team compared to the last meeting with Fiorentina on the opening day of the season has improved in many areas. We are doing well, despite all the criticism.
“We can of course all do better, but we have given some good performances so far this campaign.”
Mihajlovic will still be without striker Mario Balotelli and January signing Kevin-Prince Boateng for the meeting with the Viola.
“Balotelli has now completed two or three training sessions with the team. Boateng still needs to work on his match fitness. We have a big squad of 28 and ideally you should have a squad of 25,” he said.
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