Vincenzo Montella talked about the conditions of Ignazio Abate, Keisuke Honda, Lucas Ocampos and others ahead of the clash with Genoa on Saturday, which will be important for Europe.
After losing to Juventus last week in the 97th minute, Milan return to the pitch of the San Siro on Saturday evening when they host Genoa at 20:45 CET.
With 10 matches remaining until the end of the season, the Rossoneri are sitting in 7th, two points behind Atalanta in 6th and 10 points behind Napoli in 3rd.
The Diavolo will be without three suspended players (Jose Sosa, Alessio Romagnoli and Carlos Bacca) as well as without several injured men including Ignazio Abate and Suso, but Montella only looks about the three points.
“Tomorrow we will be patient, we must play with intelligence. It will be a tough game,” Vincenzo said in today’s presser.
“Before the first leg with Genoa I warned that it would be a difficult game given the euphoria following the victory against Juventus. The case is closed about last Friday’s match, we are only thinking about tomorrow. We are focused only on Genoa. We’re a week after the Juventus match? The team should not feel penalized. We must look ahead, we should not feel victims of something.
“We must think only about the next matches. We suffered against Juve. I do not like to talk about our absences, but this team has many and on Friday some players were missed. We could not repeat the victory in Doha, but we have shown we are not afraid. Too bad for what happened at the end [Juve were given a non-existent penalty], but we have proved once again to have a soul.
“Our calendar? It’s not the schedule that plays. It’s true that we have less ‘challenges’ than the others but we always try to win regardless of the opponents. For us there are 10 games left in the league. It is not true that there are teams that have nothing to play for. I do not have the worry of winning tomorrow, Milan must win all the time; we’ll have to win through the performance & a good attitude.
“The standings? The accounts will be made at the end. The league is full of difficulties, not only for us but for everyone. We have to look ahead with confidence, it is important to achieve the goals in the end. Europe? In the race for Europe, the more teams that are involved the better.
“We must do think only about ourselves, concentrating only on our games. If we do our best in the few next games, we will go into Europe. It depends more on us than the others.
“The team? I am pleased with all my players, I am proud to have been playing virtually the whole squad. The players are an asset. Suspensions? Many in the team have been too hot-headed in the last few matches. We should try to have this attitude, except we need to control ourselves more.
“Abate’s eye injury? They’re doing the checks. He’s better, we miss him so much and we are waiting for him with open arms. There is not yet a clear picture of the situation. Lapadula’s condition? I have love for his attitude on the pitch. In recent months, he gritted his teeth, he’s had some ailments and this is why he is not always able to train at his best. He must try to manage himself a bit more.
“Ocampos? In the past, he has always played on the outside, I do not know if I was the first to put him in a central position. It’s a role that can be fulfilled by him, however, choices must be made taking into account what the team needs. Kucka? We don’t always need a player with his characteristics.
“Often, I need a different kind of midfielder and in any case he needs to rest every now and then. However, he should always feel like an important player for this team. Locatelli? He has played a lot this season. He had a high fever, he is not 100% physically, but mentally, he’s ready. Honda? He was not even lucky after the injury to Suso. I know I can always count on him as he is a great professional.
“The next derby will be played at 12:30 CET [the match will be played on the 15th of April 2017]? Football has changed in recent years and so we can’t even think about not to selling our product on the Eastern market. It’s a great opportunity to make ourselves known, there is no problem.
“The fans? I see a cohesive team and fans that are close to us. I see satisfaction about what we are doing. I am happy to represent this team. Our fans have always been close to us this season. Tomorrow they will be a big help as always. The future? I do not know how the story of the sale will end. In a little while they will have a clearer idea and I will also have a better idea.
“Soon we’ll have a better idea of everything. I have a contract with Milan, there is no problem. The closing? We’re talking about great sums of money, I think this wait is normal. Let’s wait and see.”