Wednesday, May 18, 2022

´Hospital was tougher this time´ – Mihajlovic glad to be back with Bologna

SoccerNews in Serie A 7 May 2022

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Sinisa Mihajlovic said it felt “wonderful” to be back on duty with Bologna after revealing his hospital stay proved mentally testing.

The Serbian head coach underwent leukaemia treatment at the Sant’Orsola hospital after tests set off what Mihajlovic described as “alarm bells”.

Mihajlovic joked with journalists on Saturday that he could become a tour guide for the hospital after his coaching career, having spent so long there as a patient.

For now, the 53-year-old is glad to be involved in Serie A action again, with his team facing Venezia on Sunday.

Mihajlovic’s team have been in excellent form in his absence, earning results against Milan, Juventus, Inter, and Roma during a six-match unbeaten run.

Greeting reporters on Saturday, Mihajlovic jokingly said: “I missed you too, you are a necessary evil. When you go through certain moments, you realise how much you miss even the things that you wouldn’t imagine, like talking to you.”

The former Roma, Sampdoria, Lazio and Inter star was first diagnosed with leukaemia in 2019 and underwent a bone marrow transplant in October of that year, returning to the Bologna dugout just six weeks later.

When he discovered a problem in March, former hard-man defender Mihajlovic said the leukaemia was “very courageous in returning to face an opponent like me”.

Speaking of his hospital experience on Saturday, Mihajlovic said: “This time it was tougher from a mental point of view. Due to COVID [restrictions], I had to be alone all the time. I only saw my wife for three hours in a day.”

In his absence, he was named Serie A coach of the month for April in a gesture of support from league chiefs.

“To spend time on the pitch again has been wonderful,” Mihajlovic said. “These are emotions that unfortunately I have already experienced. Health makes you enjoy life, but illness makes you understand its meaning well.

“The family – both the blood one, but also my players – have given me strength thanks to technology.

“I take this opportunity to thank the team, club, staff, doctors and nurses who have always been close to me. I feel at home now at Sant’Orsola. When I stop coaching I’ll be a tourist guide in the hospital.”

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