Montella: “I don’t think we are the favourites to win, Lapadula could start”

By Isak Möller -

Coach Vincenzo Montella is ready to experience his first Milan Derby as the red and blacks’ manager. A clash that the boss introduced to Milan TV and then to the other journalists for the press conference at Milanello. These were his words.

Montella started the press conference with talking about the upcoming game, which he believes Milan are ready for. 

“We are ready. We can’t wait to play but I think we have to stay calm and relaxed. We face a team with class players who will do everything they can to win. Inter have had lots of ups and downs, but we must be aware that they have always played well against top teams.”

Inter have struggled recently and just hired a new manager called Stefano Piolo, who Montella decided to talk about. 

“Pioli couldn’t work a lot on tactics, therefore he had to work on the players’ mentality. If you look at the individual players Inter are at Juve’s level, we mustn’t underestimate this match. We have to play at our best, with hunger and a slight touch of fear, like we did against Juve.”

When asked if Milan are the favorites to win, Montella said:

“I don’t feel we are, but at the same time, it doesn’t bother me if people think we are.

“If this game is decisive? No, it’s not decisive. For sure, it’s essential for us and the fans.”

“I am really thrilled. When I was a kid I experienced the derby as a fan, now being the manager is something unique. We will play in a fascinating context: a sold out stadium like San Siro is a kind of magic.”

On the quality of both teams: 

“I think that to improve the level of the two teams you need to become more competitive. These teams can improve, and this will be also in the city’s interest. I hope one day we will see AC Milan first in the league, and Inter second.”

(STR/AFP/Getty Images)

(STR/AFP/Getty Images)

When asked about the players who were out on International duty, Montella said:

“The South Americans look fit, they recovered from the journey. Today I’ll know more.”

Romagnoli looks set to miss out on the derby, after suffering from a muscular injury and Montella said the chances are small of him playing.

“When a player is on the pitch he only thinks about the match he’s playing. This happened also to me when I was young, and with the National team, and the same happened to Romagnoli in the match against Germany.”

“Alessio has unique traits: he has a strong personality and is a quality player. Almost certainly he’ll be ruled out due to this injury, but we can count on other players who can take his place. Gomez needs to control himself more, as required by Italian football. He is not playing a lot but improvements are there for all to see. Zapata, on the other hand, has been training regularly for a few weeks now. Physically he’s not 100% fit, but experience can obviate this.”

Gustavo Gomez in action against Freiburg.

Gustavo Gomez in action against Freiburg.

Montella also believes it’s good to have two good strikers, with Bacca and Lapadula battling for the starting spot. 

“People talk a lot about the players, it’s right and it’s part of the game. Carlos has scored a lot and has won even more. He doesn’t have anything to prove. He mustn’t worry and just give his best. It’s not bad having to choose between him and Lapadula: Gianluca has more than a chance to make it into the starting XI.”

“We know we can improve and every criticism coming from the outside world can only do us good. I accept criticisms, they give us the right motivation.”

“Will I do the “aeroplannino” celebration tomorrow? I’ve gained few more pounds and might fall while doing it.”

To wrap the interview up, Montella said that he would be happy if Berlusconi decides to watch the team at the San Siro on Sunday evening.

“I don’t know whether he’ll come to the stadium, but should this be the case we would all be happy.”


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