AC Milan boss Vincenzo Montella is feeling the pressure ahead of this month’s derby clash with city rivals Inter.
Milan have lost their last two league games and lie seventh in Serie A, seven points adrift of third-placed Inter, who they meet on October 15.
Montella says the losses to Sampdoria and Roma “burn”, but the 43-year-old former Italy striker still believes his side can finish in the top four.
“The expectations at Milan were and are very high,” Montella said.
“We know that internally and we know the media makes it that way too.
“Our path has to lead to growth and to finishing in the top four positions. We’re not far away, the important thing is not to be conditioned.”
Montella also dismissed claims that his job is under threat if his team do not start achieving positive results.
“I don’t mind the speculation, I’ve been doing this job for a few years and I know the risks that come with coaching a team like Milan,” added Montella, who won the Serie A title as a player with Roma in 2000-2001.
“There’s more risk and more gossip, but I’m positive and optimistic there’s work to be done.”
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