Midfielder Ismael Bennacer has insisted that AC Milan want to ‘show their mentality and do well’ in the return fixture against Lille.
Milan will be looking to get some kind of payback on Lille, as the Ligue 1 side came to San Siro and snapped Milan’s 24-game unbeaten run across all competitions with a 3-0 win earlier in the month.
According to the latest from Sky (via MilanNews), Pioli has five changes in mind compared to the starting XI which won 3-1 in Naples on Sunday, with Sandro Tonali expected to start alongside Bennacer in the midfield.
Bennacer was interviewed by Sky Italia on the eve of the game, with his words transcribed by MilanNews.
On the match against Lille: “There is the second leg and we want to win it. We have to show our mentality and do well against the opponents.”
On the first game: “They are a great team, they played very well. From the bench I saw a good team. We made mistakes in some situations and we lost, tomorrow we must try to do better.”
On the absence of Ibrahimovic: “With Ibrahimovic or without Ibrahimovic we have the same mentality and the same desire to do well. When he plays it is a positive fact for the team but if he is absent we must do equally well.”
Bennacer was also interviewed by Milan TV, and spoke about the sense of responsibility he feels while wearing the Milan shirt and about his relationship with midfield partner Franck Kessie.
“Milan have a great history, it is normal that there are difficult moments in football, we must never give up. We are working hard to win and to give Milan and the fans everything they deserve,” he said.
“Franck and I have been playing together for a year, we speak French, it is easier to understand each other. We know each other well, it is easier to play on the pitch.”
Bennacer encountered problems early in his Milan career as he picked up a number of yellow cards in his first few games, but since then he seems to have improved on his disciplinary record.
“Last year I was a bit too aggressive when I recovered the ball, I learned to be less aggressive and make fewer fouls,” he said.