Sinisa Mihajlovic is looking to save AC Milan’s season by guiding them to Coppa Italia glory as they prepare for the first leg of their semi-final with Alessandria.
Milan have been inconsistent this term and sit sixth in Serie A after Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Emploi, eight points off the Champions League places.
But Mihajlovic’s side are huge favourites to reach the Coppa final, with third-tier Alessandria standing in their way.
“Tuesday’s match is a key moment for our season. We have to and we are determined to go through to the final,” Mihajlovic said at a news conference on Monday.
“Our aim though is to qualify for the final of the competition and to try and lift the trophy. If you win silverware, a season can be considered a positive one.
“Thinking it is going to be easy, however, is the easiest way to end up giving a poor account of ourselves. Alessandria deserve to be shown respect and I am happy for their coach. I am treating Alessandria like a Serie A team and I will select a competitive side for the match.
“We need to win Tuesday if we want to take a step towards the final. We have to play as if it were a one-off match. We need to make a strong start, just like we did at Empoli on Saturday, and try and impose our game. We are the stronger side, but you don’t win matches on paper. We must adopt the right attitude, do our job well just like we have been doing lately.”
Mihajlovic has vowed to select a strong XI for Tuesday’s encounter, but is ready to make a number of changes to his team, with Mario Balotelli and Kevin-Prince Boateng potentially getting the nod.
“There will be a few changes to the team because not all players can perform at their best for three games in the space of a week,” he added.
“But it will be a strong side and an attacking one to play well and to win. Balotelli and Boateng need game-time. But they have to earn it. I still haven’t decided who will start the match. We will see after the final training session.”