Milan forward M'Baye Niang criticized critics of Sinisa Mihajlovic following the Rossoneri's 2-0 victory over Sampdoria in the Round of 16 in Coppa Italia.
The Rossoneri have struggled for stretches of the Serie A season, currently sitting in seventh place through 16 matches – five points off a European position and seven out of a Champions League spot. Milan has not been aided by injuries, which have helped to expose the issues the team needs to address in the transfer window.
Perception of Milan in its current state has not been helped by a string of poor results, which include consecutive draws against Verona and Carpi, Serie A's two worst sides. Despite that, Niang had words for those who would seek to blame Mihajlovic.
"The criticism levied at the coach has been unfair," Niang said. "Everything on the pitch will eventually improve."
Niang scored the opening goal in Milan's 2-0 victory over Mihajlovic's old side Thursday night, putting the Rossoneri in an position. Milan only needs to beat Carpi and either Lega Pro side Alessandria or Spezia—which is threatened by relegation from Serie B—to reach the Coppa Italia Final against one of Inter, Juventus, Napoli and Lazio.
Milan has not been to the Coppa Italia Final since 2003, the last time it won the competition. Right now, winning Italy's domestic cup could be Milan's best chance at qualifying for European competition this year.
"We wanted to win (against Sampdoria) because it was important for the team, the coach, the club and the fans," Niang said. "We're on the right path and we must continue like this.
"All the signs point towards us being capable of achieving great things."
Check out highlights of Milan's 2-0 win over Sampdoria below.