Montella: AC Milan’s strength is in its bench this season

The Rossoneri coach is glad to be able to count on his substitutes and adds that his side are ready to deal with the pressures of being considered Serie A title contenders.

Vincenzo Montella praised AC Milan’s substitutes and is happy to work under greater scrutiny, accepting that “expectations have been raised” by his exciting young side.

Featuring young stars such as Gianluigi Donnarumma, Alessio Romagnoli and Manuel Locatelli, the Rossoneri have muscled their way into the title picture, the highlight being the 1-0 defeat of Juventus last weekend.

Nevertheless, Montella was keen to highlight the strength in depth he has brought by those not considered automatic starters, despite being brought back down to earth after surrendering 3-0 at Genoa immediately.

Struggling Pescara are next up for Milan on Sunday and Montella says all his players are keen to atone for their midweek horror show and ready to accept the responsibility placed on them to perform.

“We are eager to get back on the pitch and prove ourselves,” Montella told reporters.

“I think Milan’s strength this season has been in the players who came off the bench, as they always gave us something extra. Gianluca Lapadula is one of them. The strength of a team is valued on these issues.

“I hope Gabriel Paletta won’t be too sorely missed during his ban. Giancarlo Gomez is adapting to our style of football and understanding the movements that are completely different from in South America.

“Expectations have been raised and that is something to be proud of. Perhaps there was more tension when we were preparing for the Sampdoria game with two defeats behind us.

“I knew Genoa was going to be difficult, but did not expect to lose, especially like that.”

Pescara have just one win to their name so far this season, awarded to them after Sassuolo fielded an ineligible player, but Montella is not taking them lightly.

“Frankly I have seen many Pescara games, they play excellent football and are very good at playing between the lines,” he added.

“It’s a team that must be faced with the right level of concentration. It’s a delicate match.

“It would be a mistake for us to go into this game already thinking of the next test. We must take it one game at a time and focus entirely on Pescara.”