Fiorentina coach defends striker Gilardino

08 September 2011 05:00

Fiorentina coach Sinisa Mihajlovic has hit out at Italy counterpart Cesare Prandelli over his treatment of forward Alberto Gilardino.

Prandelli left Gilardino out of his match-day squad for both the Euro 2012 qualifiers against Faroe Islands and Slovenia over the last week and reportedly claimed the forward had not seemed particularly calm.

Prandelli actually brought Gilardino to Fiorentina when he was the coach there and even sold Giampaolo Pazzini having replaced him with Gilardino.

And yet since taking over the Italy job he has favoured Pazzini, putting him on the bench instead of Gilardino alongside Mario Balotelli, with Antonio Cassano and Giuseppe Rossi occupying starting berths.

"Prandelli says he felt Gilardino was less serene but that's rubbish, he could have come up with a better excuse," said the Serbian coach who also hit out at Prandelli when he left Gilardino out of his squad for August's friendly against Spain.

"Alberto has always trained well with us, with his head on his shoulders.

"I'd like to see how the others train, how Cassano trains every day, or Balotelli given I know them both.

"Gila has always been the consummate professional and I believe even more so when he wears the national team shirt.

"He's physically in shape, maybe he had a few uncertain moments during the transfer window but once it was confirmed that he was staying everything was sorted out.

"I'm saying this because I've spoken to him, he's calm, concentrated and can't wait to start playing."

Mihajlovic also had a warning for contract-rebel Riccardo Montolivo, the club captain.

Montolivo's contract runs out at the end of the season, after which he could move away for free.

And Mihajlovic said that he risks being left out in the cold this season if he doesn't sign an extension.

"He's an important player for us and I hope that between now and Sunday we find a solution that's right for him and for Fiorentina," said Mihajlovic.

"If not he knows what will happen. I have my technical and tactical ideas but I'm an employee of this club and I have to follow the company policy.

"Whoever doesn't believe in our project cannot have a place in either our present or future.

"Without an agreement it would be a problem for me, for him, for the fans and for the club."

Source: AFP