Filippo Inzaghi puts faith in Balotelli
New AC Milan coach Filippo Inzaghi has said he will put his faith in Mario Balotelli -- whose agent has said he needs to be loved -- to help the club move back up the Serie A table.
Speaking at his unveiling as coach, he said: "He's a patrimony of Italian football and of Milan. I've spoken to him since Italy were knocked out of the World Cup. He's got to emerge stronger from the criticism.
"It will be my job to get the best out of him because he can make the difference. He has even asked for a personal trainer one week before returning to preseason training, and this is very positive."
Inzaghi said it was a "dream come true" to be the coach of AC Milan as he was greeted by more than 2,000 fans.
The 40-year-old played for the club for 11 years and said he was grateful to the hierarchy for the chance to return as coach.
"I'd like to thank president [Silvio] Berlusconi, [Adriano] Galliani and Barbara Berlusconi for giving me a fantastic opportunity," he told a news conference in Milan.
"Coaching Milan has been my dream for the past two years, and now I have become the coach of the side with the most titles in the world. Nobody forgets what Milan is."
After winning the Serie A title in 2011, Milan have since struggled to keep up with the pace set by Juventus. Last season, they finished eighth and missed out on European football for the first time in 16 years.
"The most important thing is that we recreate the DNA of Milan," Inzaghi said. "We need to form a group, bring a smile back and restore our values.
"We need to create the right spirit with real men and a real coach to get back to winning things. I hope that my huge desire to win and my ambitions get through to my players."
Inzaghi will be demanding self-discipline from all his players after a lack of harmony in the dressing room contributed to Milan's problems last season.
"My motto has always been to honour the shirt you are wearing," he explained. "Whenever I lost, I would punish myself because I was sorry to see the Milan fans upset. I will always forgive technical mistakes on the field, but I will never forgive misbehaviour.
"A Milan player has got to live the life of an athlete. My players agree with me, and this comes from somebody who, in 20 years, has never put a foot wrong off the field."
"Even if we don't sign any new players, I'm convinced this team will do well."