Balotelli must stay focused, says Prandelli

The 55-year-old hopes the striker is not affected by the efforts of opposition fans and players to put him off his game

Cesare Prandelli has urged AC Milan star Mario Balotelli to maintain his focus when faced with provocation from opponents.

The striker’s career to date has been marred by displays of indiscipline on and off the field, with opposition players often targeting the striker’s short temper.

But since arriving at San Siro from Manchester City in January, Balotelli has scored 11 goals in 12 games and allowed his football to do the talking and Prandelli is eager for him to continue in that vein, while offering his backing to Stephan El Shaarawy.

“I am convinced that the leaders of Milan and [Massimiliano] Allegri have talked to him about this,” he told Tuttosport.

“Mario must think only of playing. He should not lose the right attention and concentration, often things happen just to try and get a great player to lose patience.

“Do not worry [about El Shaarawy]. El Shaarawy has given so much, his season is extraordinary.”

On Sunday Milan’s clash with Roma was suspended after racist chants were aimed towards Balotelli, with Prandelli quick to condemn the actions of supporters.

“Yesterday a clear signal was given. I think that in the face of upcoming episodes there will be temporary suspension and the interruption of the competition,” he added.

“It is not Balotelli’s problem, but on the credibility of our football.

“We must not just get angry, but there are suitable ways of going to the stadium. A stadium made in a certain way helps a lot, like that of Juventus. If the fan feels at home, they think twice before doing horrible things.

“We are all responsible. Even the fans should get angry in front of the offensive chants.”

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