Ignazio Abate believes the win over Empoli was a ‘test of maturity’ but says they shouldn’t be looking at the table.
The Rossoneri defeated Empoli 1-4 on Saturday night thanks to goals from Gianluca Lapadula (17′, 78′), Suso (61′) and Andrea Costa (64′, own goal) and at least momentarily, Milan are in 2nd place.
“It’s a growing Milan and I’m happy because it was a great test of maturity and maybe in the past we wouldn’t have won these matches,” Abate, who finished the match with an assist for Suso last night, told Sky Italia.
“We arrived here with conviction and we were not satisfied, the team is not satisfied and we are happy and we have to improve on many things, even if on Saturday we gave ourselves a good sign. The match? We knew that Empoli would come strong [they had a very good first half] but in the second half we put in more quality coming from defense and had malice in trying to get the result.
“We are the anti-Juve? You must be joking… this is not the time to look at the standings. The youth [Milan fielded their youngster starting XI since the year of 1985 last night]? The youngsters are growing up and we see it every week, but we shouldn’t give them too many responsibilities.
“The corporate events [the sale of the club]? I believe that since the start of the season the coach has done really well to isolate us from all negative thoughts and help us focus. We followed him from the start, he’s very balanced and we just have to keep going because the road is right.”
Speaking to Mediaset, Abate added: “It was a good performance and we showed great solidity. It’s a really great show of maturity, Empoli put is in difficulty because we often came through the middle. In the second half, we finished the game like a great team. We have improved in terms of quality coming out of defense and the belief that we are strong on a purely technical level.
“Last year we didn’t win these matches, but now we have the right mentality. The standings? This is the wrong time to look at the table, we’re not so stupid as to have forgotten the last three years weren’t up to our standards. We just need to keep our heads down and keep pushing.”
The next match of the Rossoneri is against the team that is in the last place of Serie A – Crotone and the kick off time is 12:30 CET. Milan will look to continue their run and maintain their position.