Mihajlovic defends Gilardino

Fiorentina boss praises striker's attitude

Gilardino: State of mind questioned by Prandelli but Mihajlovic is backing his player

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Fiorentina boss Sinisa Mihajlovic has dismissed suggestions from Italy coach Cesare Prandelli that Alberto Gilardino was not in the right frame of mind to play for the national team.

Gilardino was named in the Azzurri squad for their recent Euro 2012 qualifiers but he did not even make the substitutes' bench for Tuesday's match against Slovenia.

Prandelli indicated afterwards that he thought the striker had been unsettled by recent transfer speculation, but Mihajlovic disagrees.

The Viola chief has defended his player by insisting that his attitude has always remained admirably professional.

"Prandelli said the player wasn't serene, but that is rubbish," Mihajlovic told Il Corriere Fiorentino.

"Alberto has always done well with us and he's always been a serious professional.

"I think that will be the same case while he's with the Italy squad."

Excuse

Mihajlovic has also questioned whether some of the other players in Italy's squad displayed the same level of commitment as Gilardino.

"I'd like to see how the other players trained like Antonio Cassano and Mario Balotelli, seeing as we know what they can be like," added the coach

"Prandelli could have used a better excuse [regarding Gilardino]."