Mario Balotelli has matured, insists Milan boss Sinisa Mihajlovic

Sinisa Mihajlovic insists Mario Balotelli has matured since joining Milan.

The manager says the Italy striker has grown up but that the club will not let him get away with any bad behaviour.

The 25-year-old scored and put in a Man of the Match performance as Milan beatUdinese 3-2 at the Stadio Friuli, so is SuperMario truly back?

“I am happy that he is behaving well, because I took the responsibility of bringing him here and I did it for his own good too,” noted Mihajlovic.

“I didn’t do anything in particular. I just spoke to him and he seemed convinced to me. For now he is doing what I expect of him, but it’s still early. We’ll judge the situation at the end of the season.

“I am sure that if he is doing so well, it is above all down to Mario. He has grown up as a man and consequently as a player too.

“We mustn’t shower him with too much praise. He’s a professional and has to behave as such. That ought to be considered normal. He has matured, but mustn’t rest on his laurels. If he does, he knows full well, we won’t let him get away with it!”

The Rossoneri did get two consecutive victories against Palermo and Udinese, but the 3-2 scorelines left them in the balance to the end.

AC Milan's Mario Balotelli (R) challenges Palermo's Aljaz Struna during their Serie A soccer match at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, September 19, 2015. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini
AC Milan’s Mario Balotelli (R) challenges Palermo’s Aljaz Struna during their Serie A soccer match at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, September 19, 2015. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini – Reuters

And Mihajlovic says the match against Genoa on Sunday is crucial. “A win would be very important for us, because nine points in a week is good preparation for theNapoli game. If we play the way we did, improving defensively, then we can win,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“The second half against Udinese worries me only to a certain degree. It’s a good sign that we brought home the three points and fortunately didn’t pay a heavy price for those errors. If it happens again, we’ll have learned how to deal with those situations.”

Balotelli started alongside Carlos Bacca on Tuesday night, but is likely to partner Luiz Adriano instead against Genoa.

“Luiz Adriano attacks the space more than Bacca, who tends to attack the ball. Balo and Luiz Adriano have similar characteristics, but not too similar. Balotelli needs to move more towards the centre, as he was too far wide and all those free kicks he earned would’ve been more useful to the team in the middle of the pitch.”

Milan are climbing the table and Mihajlovic was asked whether they were outsiders for the Scudetto race.

“When it comes to Milan, they can never be considered outsiders. Our objective is to reach the Champions League, then anything more than that will be a bonus. When you are up there, you can think about the Scudetto, but certainly not now.”

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