Vincenzo Montella discussed the “evolution” of his Milan tactics and the importance of determination ahead of their meeting with Udinese.
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The last week has been stressful for the Rossoneri, who lost 4-1 at Lazio, thrashed Austria Vienna 5-1 in the Europa League and then lost Andrea Conti for four to six months with a torn ACL in training on Friday.
“Yesterday was sad, but Conti’s surgery went well and we hope to have him back as soon as possible,” said the Coach in his Press conference.
The main difference between the Lazio and Austria Vienna games was in the free role given to Hakan Calhanoglu, while Andre Silva bagged a hat-trick.
“People give too much importance to the system. The whole approach was different in Vienna, with the mentality of a side that was hungry and wounded. The ball moved quickly and that was what impressed me,” insisted Montella.
“We are working on a three-man defence, but that was also true for much of last season. Leonardo Bonucci’s history shows he can play with both three and four at the back. However, Alessio Romagnoli is our only left-footed centre-back and that affected my decisions early on when he was injured.
“Ignazio Abate has similar characteristics to Conti, so I have faith he can do well there. Davide Calabria can also take that role.”
There are concerns that moving to 3-4-1-2 will see Suso or even Jack Bonaventura pushed out.
“Suso is an important player and when called upon has always been very effective. You can all the system what you like, but there will be squad rotation involving everyone,” continued the tactician.
“Calhanoglu has talent and determination, I saw that from the first day. In Italy there isn’t as much space as in the Bundesliga, so he has to speed up his passing and thought process, but he’ll get there.
“Andre Silva has evident potential and I hope he can become one of the best strikers in Europe. He has to be more clinical in front of goal, but he proved what he can do on Thursday.
“Considering the way the Lazio game started, it seemed to be our normal performance. I hope that this defeat remains in our minds for a while, because you need the right hunger to win ugly. Defeats can be healthy if they get you back on track.
“I like having doubts on the line-up to the last minute. Playing every three days means there will be room for everyone. The important thing is to have that grit and determination, because you don’t win games with tactics alone. I’d like us to win ugly a bit more often.
“I have the kind of players who allow me to change system even during a game. It is all in a state of evolution.
“Every match is to be approached as if it was the last. We really are just at the beginning of this season, losing one game in Serie A and winning two. We absolutely must get full points from the next two.”