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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

AC Milan's Balotelli, Menez 'still not good physically' - Sinisa Mihajlovic

Balotelli goal Coppa Italia 160301
Mario Balotelli scored a late goal in AC Milan's 5-0 Coppa Italia win versus Alessandria.

Mario Balotelli and Jeremy Menez left a good impression on their AC Milan manager Sinisa Mihajlovic, after the pair combined for three goals in a 5-0 Coppa Italia win versus Alessandria.

Balotelli, 25, and Menez, 28, started the match and Mihajlovic admitted the two were "still not good physically," after spending much of the 2015-16 campaign injured thus far.

Menez opened the scoring for Milan in the 20th minute and added another in the 39th to give his team a 3-0 lead as they went into the dressing room. Balotelli's goal came late in the Coppa semifinal match, helping Milan secure a 6-0 aggregate win and passage to the final where they'll meet either Juventus or Inter Milan.

"They're two important players, but they're not good physically," Mihajlovic said to Rai, following the match. "Mario, Jeremy and Luiz Adriano -- who will start training with us again tomorrow -- will be crucial in the final sprint.

"Balo and Menez did well, but you can see that they're far from top condition. He's still not in shape."

Jeremy Menez, left, received praise from manager Sinisa Mihajlovic after scoring twice versus Alessandria.

The spot in the final gives Mihajlovic, who moved from Sampdoria to Milan over the summer of 2015, his first chance a trophy with the Rossoneri and gave the manager the opportunity to praise his team and their attitude.

"It was important to get to the final. It was also important to have the right attitude, win by a big margin and give those who have played less some minutes.

"We're happy, we haven't been in the final for 13 years and we've achieved our first objective of the season. When the game comes round we'll try to win.

Asked if he'd prefer to face Juve or Inter in the final, the AC Milan boss said: "I don't care. If I have to pick one I'll say Juve, because if Juventus win the Scudetto we can play for two trophies, the final of the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa."

Mihajlovic was also pressed on whether or not his goalkeeper, the 17-year-old Gianluigi Donnarumma, was ready to be included in the Italy national team as a backup to Azzurri legend Gigi Buffon.

"He's a starter for Milan, he's a great prospect but [Antonio] Conte knows who to call up," Mihajlovic said. "He'll have a lifetime ahead of him to be the goalkeeper for the national team, now he has to think about Milan. He has to keep his feet on the ground and continue to work with humility.

"Milan and the national team have found a goalkeeper for the next 20 years."


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