AC Milan midfielder Nigel de Jong has branded himself as a 'winner' ahead of the Derby della Madonnina against Inter on Sunday, whilst also explaining that inexperience is the main factor of the club's poor start to the season.
The Netherlands international will be experiencing his first Milanese derby, and hopes that the Rossoneri will be able to take all three points.
“I am a winner and I always want to win. It’s my mentality and is about more than words,” he said to Corriere dello Sport.
“I do talk a lot on the field with my team-mates, but they are clear and simple ideas, because football is a universal language. I am learning Italian and can understand almost everything if they speak slowly, but another two months and I’ll be fine.
“Where can we win the derby? In midfield, like with every big game. Usually if you take control in the middle of the park, then you can have the better of the match.”
De Jong also sought to explain Milan's average start to the season, insisting that the problems were derived from a lack of experience in the side.
He added: “I think fundamentally our problems revolved around a lack of experience. This is a very young side and many players were on the bench last season only to be promoted to the first team. It is never easy to change your perspective at a club like Milan.
“We lost to Sampdoria and Atalanta, but with all due respect, I think the only difference between us in those games was experience and cynicism. We’re a new group and are improving game by game.”
Kick-off at San Siro is at 20:45CET.