Cristian Brocchi has urged AC Milan to end the “suffering” of their supporters by lifting the Coppa Italia on Saturday.
Milan will face Serie A champions and holders Juventus in Rome in their first Coppa final since they won the 2003 edition with a 6-3 aggregate victory over Roma.
Brocchi, who claimed a winner’s medal that year, took charge of the first team following Sinisa Mihajlovic’s sacking in April, but was unable to guide Milan to a top-six finish in what proved to be another dismal Serie A campaign.
But the 40-year-old has called on his players to give Juve a fight and bring some positivity back to San Siro.
“It’s not every day that you have the opportunity to win a trophy,” he said. “It would be something wonderful, especially for those who have suffered for Milan in recent years.
“The players have trained well, I saw something different, but I’m not fooled by that anymore, because they did well before [last week’s 3-1 defeat to] Roma, too.
“I really hope they can produce that little bit extra – it’s the right moment. Every player has his pride and his professionalism. For many of them this is their last chance to win something.
“Those who are leaving will go with a good memory, they’ll bring home a victory which will go into the history of the club.”
Juve roared back from a tough start to the season to clinch a fifth Serie A title in a row after a run of 26 wins from the last 28 matches.
A second domestic double in two years under Massimiliano Allegri now beckons, but Brocchi insists there are weaknesses his side can exploit.
“All teams have flaws. The strong ones are those who have fewer, who have real ferocity. Juve have that and a winning mentality that helped them recover from the start of the season,” he said.
“But if you fight, you can win. There are games where the result matters more than the play. Tomorrow, the only thing that matters is giving Juve a tough time.
“I’m always fired up – I live as if I were still a player. But at the same time I need to have the calmness to react in the decisive moments of the game against a great coach like Allegri.”
Brocchi’s future remains uncertain, especially with Milan president Silvio Berlusconi in talks with a Chinese consortium over a potential takeover, but he is interested solely in Saturday’s showdown.
“What counts is the final. I’d be happy to continue with Milan, but Brocchi is not important at the moment,” he added.
“If I’m not the coach next season, I’ll still have had a wonderful experience.
“There are other pressures on you as a coach, especially from outside, but as long as I’ve given 100 per cent, I’m not worried.”
Juve did the double over Milan in Serie A this season, winning 1-0 on home soil in November and 2-1 at San Siro last month.