Mihjalovic challenges Balotelli

AC Milan head coach Sinisa Mihajlovic has urged Mario Balotelli to work hard and make the most of his opportunities in the first team.

Mihajlovic revealed he was willing to give the under-fire striker more chances, but warned him to show a willingness to sacrifice for the team in order to stay there.

Earlier in the week he criticised Balotelli's attitude towards training and urged him to work harder in order to earn his place in the first XI.

"I'm not interested in whether or not he smiles when he scores," Mihajlovic said. "What matters is that he be decisive in front of net.

"When I talk about [Balotelli's] attitude I'm referring to the willingness to work hard and sacrifice for the team. If he does that, then he'll play; otherwise, he won't.

"I won't go against my principles or the good of the team. It is up to him to capitalise on this chance. Both him and Menez have the qualities to be very successful, but what's missing is that intensity I demand from every one of my players."

Balotelli has only played in 12 Serie A games this campaign, contributing just a single goal, but his season has been severely interrupted by injury.