Donadoni: Milan's problems psychological

AC Milan are a quality side but are suffering many psychological problems, Bologna coach Roberto Donadoni said after his team's shock 1-0 win at the San Siro on Wednesday.

AC Milan's M'baye Niang reacts in a football match against Hellas Verona.   -  REUTERS

AC Milan are a quality side but are suffering many psychological problems, Bologna coach Roberto Donadoni said after his team's shock 1-0 win at the San Siro on Wednesday.

"They have some problems, many of which are psychological," Donadoni told the Milan Channel after steering his side to their first win of 2016 and their third in four consecutive games.

"The qualty is there, unfortunately when things aren't going well the players start to feel the weight of the Milan shirt."

Donadoni, who has transformed Bologna since taking over from sacked Delio Rossi at the start of November, knows all about pressure having been at the helm of Parma last season when they suffered the ignominy of financial ruin and relegation from Italy's top flight.

The 52-year-old former Italy coach is also an authority on Milan, having been personally recruited by club president Silvio Berlusconi in 1986 before going on to enjoy huge domestic success including six league titles during a 10-year spell at the club.

Offering some advice to embattled Milan coach Sinisa Mihajlovic, Donadoni added: "You need patience and character to pull yourself out of moments like this."

Mihajlovic, whose task this season is to try and qualify Milan for the Champions League after a two-year absence from Europe's premier club competition, would add 'scoring goals' to that list of recommendations.

Milan spurned a host of chances to break the deadlock before Emanuele Giaccherini's 82nd minute winner for the visitors, leaving Mihajlovic perplexed about how Carlos Bacca, Alessio Cerci and several other players failed to hit the net with 16 shots on goal.

"We weren't unlucky, when you miss five one-on-one chances to beat the goalkeeper you risk conceding a goal at the end, and that's what happened," said Mihajlovic.

"I'm really disappointed for everyone, we are creating a lot of opportunities but we're scoring few goals. When you get stuck in the rut, that's what happens. Physically, the lads are fine. Maybe it's a mental problem that we have to look at."

Milan's first defeat since a 1-0 reverse to Juventus at the end of November left them 10 points behind provisional leaders Fiorentina and eight behind champions Juventus, who occupy third spot — a significant blow in the seven-time European champions' bid for a top three finish.

Milan travel to Roma on Saturday looking to make amends although the Giallorossi will be doubly determined after giving up a two-goal lead at Chievo to see the hosts tie the match 3-3 five minutes from the end.

Mihajlovic added: "We had three crucial games in Bologna, Roma and Carpi, games we needed to win and we've slipped up already. But we have to remain a cohesive unit and keep our focus."

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