Honda still adjusting to new wing position at AC Milan

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MILAN (AP) After years as a playmaker and attacking midfielder, Keisuke Honda is still adjusting to his new position on the right wing for AC Milan.

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“I’m learning. Sometimes I have some trouble but I’m improving,” the Japan international told the Gazzetta dello Sport on Friday. “I played behind the strikers for many years and now the assignment has changed.”

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Honda struggled for playing time at the start of this season under Milan’s first-year coach Sinisa Mihajlovic but he has now become a fixture in the lineup at his new position.

“In the summer (Mihajlovic) positioned me behind the forwards and physically I felt fine but he wasn’t satisfied by my performance,” Honda said. “No player is happy when they’re on the bench but this, too, was a precious experience. I haven’t spent much time on the bench in my career and now I know how players feel when they’re not playing.”

Honda has scored only one goal in 25 Serie A appearances this season.

“I should score more,” he said. “In Italy the strikers are individualistic.”

With Milan struggling in sixth place, Honda and the Rossoneri host Serie A leader Juventus on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Honda said he has 110 people working for him at 60 football schools in Japan, with 80 coaches and 3,000 kids between the ages of 4 and 16.

“We would like to expand into Thailand, China, Cambodia, Vietnam and even the United States,” Honda said.

Honda also said he owns a third-division club in Austria.