AC Milan Boss Vincenzo Montella Remains Upbeat Despite Defeat Against Dortmund in Friendly
AC Milan coach Vincenzo Montella chose to remain positive despite his side's 3-1 defeat against Borussia Dortmund in their opening match of the International Champions Cup.
The Serie A giants have demonstrated their ambition with some big name arrivals so far this summer, but were comfortably beaten by their German opposition.
A Nuri Sahin goal and a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang brace were enough to give Dortmund the win, but Montella insisted that there were encouraging signs from the performances of his players.
"We cannot look at the result," he said, quoted by FourFourTwo. "I saw a team with application and character. There are things we need to work on, but the spirit is always the same.
"We suffered at times, but we reacted and the young players also did well.
"Overall I see a team that is very confident in the things they do. We were missing several players so I see great potential to improve."
New signings Ricardo Rodriguez, Hakan Calhanoglu, Mateo Musacchio, Fabio Borini and Franck Kessie all played in the defeat, but perhaps the most eagerly anticipated arrival, defender Leonardo Bonucci, was absent.
The former Juventus centre-back could feature in Milan's next outing against Bayern Munich, however, after he has met up with his new teammates.
"He's one of us now in every respect," Montella said. "It was a great signing by the club and we're happy to have him with us.
"Tomorrow he will arrive and we will evaluate his physical condition and decide who plays and for how many minutes."
Milan are straight into competitive action following the Bayern friendly, with a two-legged Europa League third qualifying round tie against Romanian side Craiova, and Montella has admitted that his players are unlikely to be at peak fitness levels.
"I'd be happy to arrive at 70 per cent," he added. "I hope those who have arrived will be as prepared as us, or even more so. It's a fundamental game for us, the priority is to get into the group stage of the Europa League."