Salernitana head coach Davide Nicola was happy with how his team took on the game against AC Milan but admitted that they made some costly defensive errors.
The Granata started the game in the worst possible fashion as Milan went two goals up inside 15 minutes, with Rafael Leao scoring the first after rounding the keeper following Sandro Tonali’s through ball, and then Tonali got a goal of his own at the same ground where he scored his first for Brescia.
Salernitana were right in it until the end thanks to a goal from Federico Bonazzoli that halved the deficit heading into the final ten minutes plus eight that were added, but the Rossoneri hung on to start 2023 in the right way.
Nicola spoke to Sky at the end of the game against Salernitana to assess how his side played after such a long absence, with his comments relayed by MilanNews.
“I have to say that after more than a month and a half the team responded with the desire to try and play the game, from halfway onwards we managed it well. Defensive errors penalised us in the first half. We accept it and we know we have to work on it. We need to work and improve the pace in the defensive phase, which is as important as the attacking one,” he said.
On Ochoa and Bonazzoli: “Ochoa proved what they say about him, he’s a player with personality, a very important signing. I don’t know what you’re talking about with Bonazzoli, we have three strikers who have played the same games and we are also changing our setup.
“Salernitana at the moment have no difficulty in imposing a game style, we need to improve the balance with which we face the opposing teams and in the personality with which we face one on one. We have to understand that there is a moment in which there is imminent danger and others in which there is time to block the ball.”
On playing such a high line against Leao: “It is clear that Leao becomes effective when he has space, on goal the defence had to remove the space behind. It is the ability to anticipate the opponent’s movement and not when the action has already started.
“Salernitana are not always and only high, it depends on the situations. When we are in a more attacking area, the exits have the right timing and we are performing, but when we are in a defensive area we lose something and we lose individual duels on the air.
“There are dynamics of individual errors and others in which a higher level of reading the game is needed. We have to improve but this is a team that was built to play, it must express itself for what it knows by improving for what there is still to do.”