Daniele Bonera has insisted that AC Milan will make the trip to France to face Lille with the full intention of bringing all three points home.
The Rossoneri will be looking to exact some revenge from earlier in the month when Lille came to San Siro and snapped Milan’s 24-game unbeaten run across all competitions with a 3-0 win.
That moved them above Milan and back top of the group, making Thursday night’s clash at the Stade Pierre Mauroy vital in terms of qualification.
Head coach Stefano Pioli will not be on the bench for the Europa League group stage match due to the fact he still has Coronavirus, so first team coach Bonera will instead take his spot just as he did for Sunday’s win over Napoli.
Bonera spoke to the media ahead of the game, with his comments transcribed by MilanNews and translated below.
Could the victory in Naples have given an injection of confidence in view of tomorrow’s match?
“Surely winning is good for everyone’s morale. We face a great team that put us in difficulty, in the first game we made some technical and positioning errors. Tomorrow we will try not to make them and win the game,” he said.
Could a problem arise from reaching the Europa League knockout stages and continuing to play every three days?
“The fact of playing every three days is a constant that has come from May. I think it’s not a problem, we have a high level squad. At this specific moment we have some players injured. The important thing is the spirit, which we have seen in Naples and which will also be seen tomorrow evening.”
Did you talk to Ibra and how is he?
“I saw him. On Monday after the scan he was ready to return, but this is nothing new. He is a great athlete and a great man, ready to recover to be at his best and give his contribution.”
Does it bother you that there are still some who turn up their noses at Milan being so high in the table?
“The important thing is to feel strong within the group. Our mentality is consolidated and we know what led us to be at the top and we know what to do to stay there. Our starting point must be that. It’s part of the game.”
Will it be Milan’s defence against Lille’s attack?
“It is clear that they have very good players in the attacking department, but they are a great team. It is no coincidence that they are second in the league and first in the group. We will try to make up for the shortcomings we had in the first leg, in which it came out too heavy a result.”
Would a draw be welcome?
“I would like to answer yes, but we are not capable [of settling for a draw]. We have a mentality with the desire to impose ourselves everywhere, it is part of the history of this club. We must continue on this path.”