AC Milan midfielder Juraj Kucka has blamed another disappointing Serie A season on the team’s mentality.
Sinisa Mihajlovic’s side were beaten 2-1 by Juventus at San Siro on Saturday, leaving their lingering hopes of Champions League qualification all but ended.
Kucka concedes that Milan’s inconsistency has been their undoing and has called on his team-mates to show greater mental strength in order to restore their place at the top of Italian football.
“We gave it our absolute all,” he said after the match, which was won by a second-half Paul Pogba strike. “We went for it and it’s a shame about the final score.
“We have to keep this up. We have been too inconsistent this season and we have to change our mentality, which has been our weakness. We have shown that we can match anyone and we now have to focus on the end-of-season run-in.
“It’s important we keep playing like we did tonight. We will now focus on the next game with Sampdoria and fight right until the end.”
Goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma praised opposite number Gianluigi Buffon for a handful of crucial saves, but is confident Milan can avenge the defeat in the Coppa Italia final in May.
“It’s a real shame to have lost this match. We are all disappointed,” he said. “But we have to build on tonight’s performance. We were unlucky, but we have to keep playing like this.
“I congratulated Buffon after the game because he made some sensational saves. As I said, we were very unlucky but we now have to look ahead. The determination we showed tonight has been missing at times this season and we have to play with this kind of desire in the coming matches.
“If we play with the attitude we showed tonight then we can do really well in the upcoming games. There is no reason why we cannot win the cup final. We showed we can compete with Juve tonight. We know it will be tough, but we can do it.”