Montella’s Milan ready for Serie A kick off

AC Milan manager Vincenzo Montella says his overhauled squad is ready for Sunday’s Serie A opener against Crotone.

After numerous comings and goings this transfer window, there is plenty of optimism ahead of the new campaign.

"I'm not kidding myself that the hard work is done, because this is practically a whole new squad, but the lads are working hard and I am happy," Montella said.

"There are players who need to integrate and let's not forget Serie A is more tactical and therefore more difficult than many other leagues. It'll be a real battle against Crotone on Sunday.

"I am very happy with the way this team is developing. We are only at the beginning, but it's a promising start.

"It's also gratifying to see the visceral enthusiasm of the fans in the stadium. It gives us an extra boost."

Milan also look certain to reach the group stages of the Europa League after thrashing Macedonian side Shkendija 6-0 in Thursday’s play-off first leg.

"Naturally the game immediately got on the right track and was perhaps better than we expected, so we had some dips in concentration that we ought to avoid in future," Montella added.

"In general, it was a very positive evening. We won't take the second leg for granted, as every game is an opportunity to improve.

"The only negative of the evening was Jack Bonaventura's injury, but we hope it's nothing serious. He had a twinge in his thigh."