With only 24 hours to go to the first competitive game of the season, the third qualifying round of the Europa League against CSU Craiova, Jack Bonaventura and the boss, Vincenzo Montella, addressed the media at the press conference that was held on the eve of Thursday's clash. The Red and Blacks' gaffer will have to make do with several absent players in AC Milan's Europa League debut, but the 20 called up for the match in Romania are surely ready for this first decisive meeting of the season.
"I'm really happy to be part of this project, tomorrow is our first important test. If we approach the game the wrong way, this can become very dangerous. I feel the right pressure and I am curious to see the boys on the pitch and see how we'll play".
"Craiova are tactically good, they are a well-organised team and have talented players, especially up front. Take Baluta, he can be dangerous. We have to play an aggressive game and cut off their passing lanes. The different budget between the two clubs? This won't matter on the pitch, we need the right approach to do well".
"Our common goal is to make it to the next round. AC Milan have been out of Europe for three seasons and we all thoroughly want to go through, not only the team but also the management, the fans, everyone in the club. With Fiorentina, I made it far in this competition, but I don't think about this too much. I fear these early stages more than group fixtures".
THE NEW SIGNINGS AND THE INDIVIDUALS
"We have signed a good mix of young and more experienced players. Kessie made a positive impact. We expect a great deal from him because he has still a lot of room for improvement. Patrick [Cutrone] has grown so much and really wants to be important for this team. He reminds me of me at his age, but probably he is more hungry for goal. Niang? He's back more mature. He needs to keep his concentration longer. The exclusion of Bacca, Paletta and Sosa? They are not in the squad list because of transfer market reasons and I have other players in those roles".
Also Jack Bonaventura spoke to the journalists who attended the press conference: "I am really happy to be here, to compete in a Europa League match. Last season ended too soon for me, I worked hard and I can't wait to play. As inside forward? I like playing in this role and I think I can be of help to the team. Now we, the "older" players, have to help the new arrivals to settle in, but I can say that we are already a really good group: some of the new signings are more experienced therefore they have adapted easily and the younger ones really want to do well". Finally, Jack commented on the fans' enthusiasm: "It's really important for us. It's great to have their support, now we need to feed this enthusiasm with performances that live up to the hype".