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.
“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.”
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.