Mario Balotelli may have notched a goal and assist on his return to action with AC Milan, but coach Sinisa Mihajlovic insisted the striker is not ready to play in Serie A.
In his first match for Milan since returning to the San Siro on loan from Liverpool, Balotelli struck a stunning early goal in Thursday’s 3-2 friendly win over Mantova and set up his team’s second before Luiz Adriano scored a penalty.
But despite a decisive role from the striker, Mihajlovic was far from impressed.
“We played a team from Serie C,” he told Premium Sport. “We can see that Balotelli is not in good condition and must improve.
“If we think we win because we’re called Milan, we’re not going anywhere.
“It was a game we needed to put minutes into our legs; when one does not play, you should not complain because many have shown they do not deserve to play.”
In perhaps a boost for Balotelli’s confidence, however, Mihajlovic did concede that “perhaps the attack is the one area of the pitch with fewer problems.”
Asked about his performance at half-time, Balotelli said: “I’m pleased with the goal and assist. Physically I feel good!”
The striker then posted on Instagram: “It’s just the start, I’m happy but not satisfied… Let’s keep working hard, we need it and hopefully we will fly.”