Milan CEO Marco Fassone reiterates the goal this season is a top four finish - “we’ve always said that”.
The Rossoneri were thrashed 4-1 by Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico yesterday, putting an early dent in hopes of a Scudetto challenge.
“I think [sporting director Massimiliano] Mirabelli and [Coach Vincenzo] Montella gave the right explanations,” Fassone told Corriere dello Sport.
“We’re aware that this is a team under construction, we were surprised by the proportion and size of the reaction to this defeat.
“Our objectives don’t change, this year we think we have the cards to play and compete for a top four place, which gives access to the Champions League.
“That’s our stated goal, we’ve always said that. Stumbles like the one against Lazio are important to get rid of excuses and to start, from Thursday, with a different spirit.
“The Europa League? We’ll play with good ambition, with the idea that we’re in an important European competition that will help us familiarise ourselves with this kind of event.
“We know it’s difficult and we can’t be fooled by the fact that the group appears to be doable. Let’s take things step-by-step.
“The first objective is to qualify and to qualify well, ideally top of the group for points, prestige and a better draw.
“Then if we get to the knockout stages we’ll try to go as far as we can. What we can certainly guarantee is the utmost commitment to a competition we feel is important.”
Leonardo Bonucci was perhaps the most eye-catching signing of the summer, but he’s come in for some harsh criticism after his performance against the Aquile.
“I was a little disappointed when I saw that the criticism focused on him more than others. It was a negative performance from the team in general.
“Bonucci is the captain, the leader. He’s not just a signing we really wanted, but a player who decided to put himself out there and talk on television after the match. He has all our appreciation.
“Yesterday’s game doesn’t damage the confidence and esteem we have for him by even 0 per cent.”