Montella: Players must take responsibility

AC Milan head coach Vincenzo Montella says the first-half of the campaign has been positive, but the players need to understand the importance of playing for the club.

The Rossoneri occupy fifth place in the Serie A standings, nine points behind league leaders Juventus, and Montella believes that his first 18 games in charge at the San Siro has yielded positive results.

Milan have lost only four times, winning 11 and drawing three – with their most recent outing seeing them get the better of Massimiliano Allegri's side in the Italian Super Cup final.

The Italian says he's pleased with their approach thus far, telling the club's official website: "The boys are always willing, very curious and have a positive training approach. They are very professional.

"Of course, when the manager changes it is always a lot easier. Our goal is to maintain this positive attitude during the entire season."

Montella also highlighted the individual contributions of goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and midfielder Andrea Bertolacci, in addition to suggesting what needs to be done for the Italian giants to get back to challenging for honours. 

"Donnarumma is a valuable player that has already proven a lot. He has a huge personality and a great future ahead of him," the 42-year-old added.

"Bertolacci? I am appreciating a lot his work these days: his self-sacrifice and understanding of my tactical needs.

"We need to change something from what was done in the previous seasons. It cannot be only the managers' fault, the players as well must take more responsibility and understand the importance of playing for AC Milan.

"Milan fans are used to winning. Starting from these early-season matches, we will try to bring back the enthusiasm among our fans so that they will come and cheer for us at the stadium."