Wednesday September 23 2020
Calabria: 'Milan must aim for the top'

Right-back Davide Calabria claims Milan ‘must aim for the top’, as he hopes to build on the 'positive spell' and prove the Rossoneri ‘are a quality team’.

The 23-year-old played 25 Serie A matches last term and was in the starting line-up against Bologna on Monday, becoming an important member of the Diavolo squad under coach Stefano Pioli.

Calabria played his first League match for the Rossoneri in 2014-15 and has been patiently waiting for his chances in the first team at Milanello, and he believes the group have gained the required confidence to continue building on the ‘positive period’.

“I put behind me what was bothering me to focus only on football and this has helped me and the whole team,” Calabria told MilanTV.

“We are all doing very well. It’s really important to play with a clear mind.

“The coach has shown his faith in me, allowed me to play more attacking and we are all seeing the results of this.

“I hope we can continue like this, we are only at the beginning. Individuals can make the difference.

“There are strong individuals in the team, but [the results] also depend on how the group are doing psychologically and we are confident.

“We have belief and it’s not something to be taken for granted. We’re going through a positive period both physically and mentally.

“We are obtaining the results we want on the pitch. All of this together helps the team and the club.

“From defence we can see the whole pitch. Lots of the young lads are doing well, such as Alexis [Saelemaekers], players who come from a foreign League. It’s not easy to start as well as he has.”

Ahead of the match against Bodo/Glimt in the third qualifying round of the Europa League, Calabria warned there are ‘no easy matches in Europe’.

“All 20, 25 players are considered likely starters and rightly so, especially for a team with big ambitions like Milan.

“It can be helpful for everyone; it pushes us to work even harder during the week.

“There are no easy matches in Europe. If we look at the past, many clubs, especially Italians have struggled against less famous clubs.

“We have everything to lose, but if we play with the same determination we have been showing lately, then a team like Milan can’t fear any other team in the world.

“We must aim for the top. The desire to win has to be the same no matter the opponent.”

Calabria revealed coach Pioli has encouraged the team to keep building on the good results in 2020.

“We just have to look at ourselves, it’s too soon to talk about direct rivals,” he added. “We have to focus on doing well, keep up what we’ve done since the start of 2020.

“As the coach said, in the 2020 League standings we rank second. Atalanta haven’t played yet, thus we are first in 2020, not just after the lockdown.

“This is really motivating us a lot because it has been a long, positive spell, which means we are a quality team and only have to prove it this season."

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