Late arrival no excuse for Milan, insists Montella

Vincenzo Montella insists AC Milan's late arrival in Doha cannot be used as an excuse if they fail to beat Juventus in Friday's Supercoppa Italiana.

The Rossoneri's preparations for the encounter were disrupted when their flight to Qatar was delayed, meaning they did not arrive until 24 hours after their opponents.

Chief executive Adriano Galliano had threatened that Milan may pull out of the fixture if they did not have ample time to prepare for the match.

But head coach Montella was not in the mood for pre-meditated excuses when addressing the issue at a news conference ahead of the game.

"There was a misunderstanding but the matter is closed now," he said. "There is no need to return to it.

"This cannot be used as an alibi. We should have arrived on the 21st, instead we got here on the 22nd.

"We are enthusiastic about playing such an important match in Doha. It's a pleasure to be here."

Milan, who lost to Juve in last season's Coppa Italia final, defeated the Bianconeri 1-0 when the side's last met at San Siro in October.

But Montella says much has changed since their last game with the Serie A champions.

"We have both improved since our last meeting in October. We expect this match to be played at a higher level," he added. 

"We want to control the game and show our qualities, but this will also depend on how our opponents play. 

"Lightness of spirit can be our weapon. We need the right attitude, to play with enthusiasm and the right mentality."

Montella also advised his players not to see the occasion as a "burden".

"This trophy mustn't be seen as a burden but an opportunity," he said.

"We have the chance to make a gift to our president [Silvio Berlusconi] and we'll do everything we can to make this happen."

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1