Montella on Milan’s ‘new path’

Vincenzo Montella, Milan

AC Milan manager Vincenzo Montella knows that there will be extra pressure this coming campaign as the club embarks on a new chapter.

The Rossoneri are expecting the San Siro to be full for Thursday’s Europa League qualifier against Craiova, and Montella says this will give his players "satisfaction and excitement, but also responsibility".

"[The fans] believe in us and the work of both ourselves and the club," he said. "They’re creating great enthusiasm for our great objectives.

"This game demands maximum concentration from us because what counts tomorrow is the result. It needs great care and humility from us.

"I expect more of an improvement in terms of mentality than physicality with regard to this match."

Milan have reportedly sold almost 60,000 tickets for the second leg at the San Siro, and have a 1-0 lead on aggregate after new left-back Ricardo Rodriguez scored in the first leg in Romania.

Following an ambitious transfer window that has seen a number of promising players join the club, Montella knows that the club’s new owners are expecting a fresh start.

"I’ve been here for so many years, it’s a new path we’ve started on," he said. "The club have been doing great things, and I expect a good season for everyone.

"In the past, the Milan captain has always been chosen by within the club. The new owners asked me to pick a new captain from the new signings, to establish a new course. I still need time to make a decision."

And talking of fresh starts, Montella also spoke of young goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, who seemed set to force his way out at the beginning of the transfer window, but has since chosen to stay.

"Gigio’s summer has been one of great growth. He’s been the centre of attention for so many months, he’s suffered stress, but this has allowed him to grow.

"I hope there will be the right reception for him tomorrow. He’s shown his love for Milan, and I hope he has affection for him."

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