AC Milan still on track for European qualification, insists Montella

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AC Milan coach Vincenzo Montella is convinced his players are still on track to qualify for the Europa League, despite a 1-0 defeat to Serie A rivals Roma.

Montella - who spent 10 years at Roma during his playing career - watched his side lose out in a hard-fought contest at Stadio Olimpico, M'Baye Niang missing a penalty before Radja Nainggolan's stunning effort secured the points for the hosts.

The Milan boss was quick to praise his team's performance, while claiming a lack of experience could prove costly in their bid to return to European competition.

"Milan played well," Montella, whose side remain in third place, told Premium Sport. "We do not deserve the defeat. Today, Roma were luckier.

"We are on track and we are competitive, so I'm sorry for my boys, but we believe in them and are confident in what they can do, [but] they are just missing a little experience.

"With a victory in the next game, we will have a foot in the Europa League. 

"Our goal is at least the Europa League, because we have been missing from Europe for two or three years."

Milan will aim for an immediate return to winning ways when they host Atalanta at San Siro on Saturday, while Roma face Serie A leaders Juventus in Turin.