Riccardo Montolivo will “try to prove the Coach is wrong” about dropping him, but warned “Milan history doesn’t step on to the field” against AEK Athens.
It kicks off on Thursday at 18:00 GMT at the OAKA Spiros Louis after the goalless draw at San Siro.
The veteran midfielder and former captain was asked if his presence in the Press conference meant he would start tomorrow.
“If I do play, I’ll give my all. It has been a bit of a difficult time, as I haven’t played for a few games, those are decisions the Coach makes and are to be respected.
“It is the job of the player to prove in training that the Coach is wrong about him and convince him otherwise. Obviously, I hoped to be playing more often, but the Coach makes his choices and picks those who give him the most guarantees to achieve victory.
“If he doesn’t choose me, then it means he has other ideas. All I can and must do is prove to the Coach he is wrong and I find nothing strange in that. We had discussions in the locker room, but nothing anomalous.”
The Rossoneri might be among the favourites to win the Europa League purely for their history and name, but Montolivo warns that is only a small element.
“History states that Europe is the home of Milan, but history doesn’t step on to the field, it’s the Milan team of right now. We have to prove that we deserve to be in Europe and go all the way in this difficult tournament.
“Everything has changed in recent years. The change has been radical. There was a lot of money spent on an impressive transfer campaign and naturally the ambitions have increased too.
“We expected difficulties among so many changes, but perhaps the enthusiasm from the outside didn’t make the difficulties clear. Maybe we didn’t expect quite so many difficulties, as we thought we’d be higher up the table and now have to work hard with our heads down to get results.”
With the numerous questions on why Montella wasn’t picking Montolivo, the Coach decided to grab the microphone and give his own version of events.
“I want to dive in here and point out that Montolivo was playing, then he got injured. I used him in important games, he has only been ready for the last three or four games, so there’s nothing unusual about that.”