Vincenzo Montella claims to be unconcerned by AC Milan’s recent form despite the team suffering a second Serie A defeat in succession on Sunday.
The Rossoneri went down 2-0 at Sampdoria last weekend and second-half goals from Edin Dzeko and Alessandro Florenzi saw Roma win by the same scoreline at San Siro.
Montella can expect to come under mounting scrutiny should Milan, who underwent an expensive overhaul in the off-season, continue to struggle early in 2017-18.
A derby against in-form Inter follows the international break and a poor performance against the Nerazzurri will not help the coach’s cause.
But Montella showed no signs of panic when he addressed the media after the loss to the Giallorossi.
“I was much more worried after the Sampdoria game, where I couldn’t figure out what had happened,” he said.
“I think Milan played on level terms with Roma. Even down to 10 men, we didn’t fall apart,” he added, referring to the late dismissal of Hakan Calhanoglu.
“I think this is the right track, the lads had the correct attitude. I am satisfied with both the spirit and the quality of the football.
“I struggle to find someone who didn’t play at a Milan level today, considering the strength of the opponents and that Roma had practically the same side as last season, who finished second.
“This defeat was the essence of football, as little incidents and luck can make a huge difference.
“Today Milan played consistently, we played the way I like and we created numerous chances. If one had gone in, we’d be here talking about a different result.
“I see the path as no longer an uphill struggle, but more of a clear way ahead.”
— Serie A TIM (@SerieA_TIM) October 1, 2017
Of the expensive recent recruitment drive, he said: “The club made a clear choice, we wanted to create a competitive squad and brought in a lot of quality all over the park. We believe these players can improve and represent the future of Milan.
“It’s only the start, I am not worried. I think if we play with this consistency, then we can have our say and get back into it.
“After all, this time last year Juventus weren’t even in the Europa League places and they ended up winning the Scudetto.”
Eusebio Di Francesco meanwhile feels Roma answered their critics by recording a fourth league victory in succession to put the damaging 3-1 home loss to Inter in August behind them.
“It was an important psychological test,” Di Francesco told Mediaset Premium
“I told my lads to maintain their balance, stay in the game, and sooner or later the goal would arrive.
“We wanted to win here and stay in the running with the top clubs.
“We have a game in hand against Sampdoria, which is not helpful, but people said we only won the ‘easy’ games and so I am glad we answered that criticism tonight.”
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