Sinisa Mihajlovic admits conceding five goals in the first half against Roma was a new experience, but he stands by his Bologna players in their next test with Spezia.
It kicks off on Wednesday at 19.45 GMT, click here for a match preview.
The squad went into a training retreat from Monday, partly due to Aaron Hickey’s COVID-19 diagnosis, but also as a response to their shocking 5-1 home defeat to Roma.
“The training retreat was not punishment. We decided to do it so we could spend more time together and figure out what was going wrong,” said Mihajlovic in his press conference.
“Tomorrow we’ll see if the lads give a response on the field. We had prepared the Roma game the same way as usual, and we’d played better against stronger teams than them.
“It’d never happened in my career to concede five goals in one half. Roma played well, but we also had a goal disallowed, there was a penalty on Rodrigo Palacio, so 5-3 looks better than 5-1.
“It’s not my toughest time at Bologna, there are a lot of injuries and a win tomorrow could change everything again. The club and I know football, so we won’t fall into the provocation of newspaper sellers…
“What do you want me to say, that the players and I insult each other every day? It’s not true. There is still that empathy, I said we have a special rapport between me and this squad. What we experienced together and what they did for me during a complicated moment of my life is something I will never forget.
“It’s like with your kids, every now and then you have to get cross with them. I am a fair and honest person, so I assure you, if there were any problems, I would say so.”
Spezia are also coming off an unexpectedly heavy 4-1 defeat to Crotone.
“They are an aggressive and well-organised team, but so are we. We lost the most recent meeting in the Coppa Italia and this can be the right opportunity to make up for it. We’ll go there to take the initiative and win the match.”