Sinisa Mihajlovic questioned the dedication of his attacking duo to AC Milan’s cause, stating they must improve in training in order to be considered for the starting XI
Mario Balotelli and Jeremy Menez will only start for AC Milan when they begin to show total commitment, warns Sinisa Mihajlovic.
Balotelli has started just three Serie A matches since arriving on loan from Liverpool, while Menez has struggled to establish himself in the side this season following a back problem.
Liverpool loanee Balotelli recently earned praise from Mihajlovic for keeping his notorious off-field indiscretions to a minimum, but the Frenchman has come under scrutiny after reportedly being involved in a training-ground row with the coach.
Mihajlovic has revealed he has since spoken to Menez but is seeking greater levels of desire from the duo before entrusting them with starting berths.
“It is down to Menez and Balotelli whether they start or not,” the Serbian told reporters. “It depends on how they train, but when they give their total commitment, they will be chosen.
“I have spoken to Menez and I hope I made myself clear. I explained everything well to him because I wanted him to understand my point of view and I think he has understood the message.”
Despite making the Coppa Italia final this season, Mihajlovic believes new additions will be required if Milan are to improve next term.
“A few quality investments are needed to improve. Players that are motivated, as well as young and talented and that can become top-class in the future, should be brought in,” he added.
“You have to choose carefully based on the person, his abilities, his motivation and whether he is suited to the playing style you have in mind.”
Milan, 11 points adrift of the third and final Champions League qualifying berth in Serie A, face Atalanta on Sunday.
And the coach issued a call for his players to prove they deserved to be at the club with a string of strong displays to close out the campaign.
“Our season isn’t over and we have a duty to try and cut the gap to the sides above us and improve our position in the league table,” added Mihajlovic.
“We all have to show that we’re worthy of being at the club. No one can give up.”