Vincenzo Montella quoted Winston Churchill, prepared for Genoa and insisted “the only problems at Milan are results, not the performances.”
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“I want to see the lads play with courage and freedom from pressure. These are the keys to get that spark we are lacking,” said the Coach in his Press conference.
“It’s true, we’re a little behind in terms of points, but we’ve got record-breaking statistics in terms of shots on goal. We must win with determination and unity, as that is what we need.
“Genoa are a very tough side to face. They force the opposition to play badly and press all over the pitch with some very tight marking. They could win or lose against anyone, so we must be sharp and courageous.
“It won’t be a game based on possession football, because Genoa won’t allow us that, so I imagine it’ll be a scrappy match and we have to be clinical.
“If we had put one of those chances in against AEK Athens, it would’ve completely changed.”
Milan have lost three on the bounce in Serie A and were jeered off the field after Thursday’s 0-0 Europa League home draw with AEK.
Vultures are circling around Montella’s bench, including Paulo Sousa, Walter Mazzarri, Guus Hiddink and Laurent Blanc.
“I am clear-headed and motivated. I’d like to quote Churchill: ‘Success is the ability to go from one failure to another without losing enthusiasm.’
“I am just as happy to be the Coach of Milan now as I was the first day, but I also know the risks inherent in this profession. My whole life has been one of running risks. I left home very young to dream of being a player, I started working as a Coach very young at Roma and took on Fiorentina after many years in the wilderness. Risks don’t frighten me, it’s where I give my best.”
Montella had tested a 3-4-3 formation against AEK Athens after the 3-2 Derby della Madonnina defeat to Inter.
“Football at this level is not about systems so much as interpretation and mentality. Playing every three days, changes are inevitable. I accept criticism, but I don’t agree with it.”
Some of the criticism came from within the Milan camp, specifically director of sport Massimiliano Mirabelli, who complained their performances were not up to scratch.
“There is a solid rapport with Massimo. We comment for hours after a game, unfortunately in recent matches it has happened in public and coincided with three defeats. It’s logical he has to evaluate my work on a professional level, but there is no problem between us.
“Of course I made some mistakes, but that’s logical in my profession. We are there trying to find the password to take that next step. There are always going to be difficulties amid radical changes, like Pep Guardiola in his first year at Manchester City or Jose Mourinho at Manchester United.
“We’re missing the results, but not the performances. Mirabelli said some very obvious things, the kind we discuss every day. The only problem for the club is the lack of victories. If we had beaten Inter, I would’ve been treated like some sort of genius.
“I understand the disappointment of the fans, but it’s down to the results and not the performances. I know that tomorrow the crowd will jeer at our first misplaced pass, but that’s normal. We need courage and confidence. I repeat, the statistics show that only Napoli had more shots than us this season.”