Marco Giampaolo is happy with what he’s seeing from his players so far as Milan take on Benfica tomorrow.
After losing 1-0 to Bayern Munich, Milan play Benfica in their second International Champions Cup game on Sunday at Gillette Stadium (21:00 CEST kickoff).
The Rossoneri will welcome back a few players who were unavailable against Bayern (Romagnoli, Musacchio, Suso and Rodriguez are all expected to start), so at least on paper they should be stronger than they were on Wednesday.
Coach Marco Giampaolo today sat alongside Fabio Borini and spoke to the press ahead of the game:
“I always expect growth compared to the last game. There are so many things to fix and it never ends. Now we are working on macro-principles, then we’ll also have to go into detail. The games we play will give us information on how to work on the details. That’s the process we have to follow until the first game of the season. It will be important to integrate those who are on holiday, those who train at Milanello and those who have just arrived. At the moment I am satisfied and confident, the group is curious and attentive. I see guys who want to challenge themselves, who don’t spare themselves. There are the conditions for putting one brick on top of another.
“If the road taken is the right one? Things go hand in hand between what will be the stimuli that will reach the players and the answers they will give. I know where to go and the direction to take. But to get to my vision and where I want, it takes a lot of work in terms of behavior, mentality and attitude. This is the most important moment for the construction of the team as no one gives you time. Now we have several pieces that are missing, and Borini has given me great availability. Bonaventura has done a session and a half with the group, Krunić has done two. The construction process is long, but the road is mapped. I have found great availability. The players have worked very well and never threw away a training session. We must all share an idea together that must lead us to achieve important results.
“The game against Bayern Munich? I liked the dedication and the fact that the guys played with faith, trying to retrace the lines of thought that we were trying to develop together. Having said that, the phases of possession and non-possession must be done better, as well as recuperating the ball. You have to fix some things, it’s normal and we’ll make it. I would have been worried if I hadn’t seen what I was saying earlier. I see confidence and commitment. We were reshaped but we were competitive, those who played put quality and experience into it, even if those who played were not the last to arrive. We were short in substitutions, we risked losing a few players due to injuries and we had to pull some players by the neck, letting them play 90 minutes when it wasn’t. However, fortunately, apart from Theo [who picked up an injury], it went well. Everyone kept a fight until the end.
“At what point is the squad? I’ve always contested that the transfer market should be open until the start of the league. I don’t get it and I will never get it. But nobody cares about the work we coaches have to do because we are in the most total business. My job has become increasingly difficult, but as long as my passion drives me – I’m in.
“If I feel at home? As for the conditions of my work, absolutely yes, you could say I feel at home already. They’re all very helpful and I’m not lacking anything, the conditions are favorable. My home was Milanello for 10 days and I felt good.
“The player’s appreciation? You have to earn credits every day from all the people who work in this great club, every day you are under examination. I never take anything for granted. I know what the responsibilities of my job entail and you never stop earning credibility, because you put your face out there every Sunday and it’s a different game. I’ve never deluded myself about anything, I have to work hard and I know I have to be on point because it’s important the club has put me in the best conditions to work.
“The ICC? High quality matches allow you to better measure yourself. This is an important tournament and we hope to make the people of Boston feel more Italian. In Italy, football is a national sport, in America it still isn’t and it will take time.”