Montella: Milan ‘missing the spark’

Vincenzo Montella, Milan

AC Milan manager Vincenzo Montella urged the club’s fans to have patience after Thursday’s 0-0 stalemate with AEK Athens in the Europa League.

Milan’s expensively-assembled team has been stuttering of late with just one win in their last five matches, and fan frustrations were clear from the stands of San Siro.

“It’s a complicated moment, but if we had won then there would be a very different enthusiasm,” Montella told Sky Sport Italia.

“The team played its game, the opposition was rather locked down and it became difficult as time wore on. We created many chances and didn’t finish them off against a good side.

“I think the disappointment and sense of irritation in the stadium was felt by the team and it was due to the three Serie A defeats rather than the performance itself.

“We are missing the spark, or even the match. I see the lads want to do more, they want to prove they belong at Milan and that is creating a psychological block. It’s my job to unblock it.

“Obviously, we’d all love to see Milan play wonderful football for 95 minutes, but it’s a growth process and I am convinced we’ll get there because most of these players have never worn a jersey like this before and the situation is making them struggle to express themselves.

“I urge the fans and the club to stand by us and above all these players, who need a caress more than to be jeered during this difficult time.”