Montella: AC Milan on track despite draw at Crotone
Vincenzo Montella believes AC Milan are still on track to hit their Serie A targets despite being dealt a blow in the race for European qualification at Crotone on Sunday.
Gabriel Paletta scrambled in an equaliser in a 1-1 draw after Marcello Trotta had given the relegation-threatened hosts an early lead at Stadio Ezio Scida, while Milan's Juraj Kucka was dismissed in stoppage-time, receiving his third red card of the season.
Montella's side - who suffered a shock loss to Empoli last weekend - have won just one of their past five games and are five points behind fifth-placed Atalanta, but the head coach shrugged off concerns over Milan's form.
"This team has better quality in the final third than what it showed," Montella said. "But we need to work, be constructive and look to the next game.
"The team has showed it is hungry, believes in Europa League qualification and is a united group.
"We are perfectly on course for our ambitions, Crotone are in Champions League form at the moment."
Milan took 36 minutes to record their first shot of the match and Montella accepted his team made a slow start, but the result could have been even worse as Trotta had a further two goals ruled out for offside.
"We suffered in the first quarter of an hour," Montella added. "In the second part of the first half the team grew into the game.
"We didn't create much because Crotone put a lot into it - they probably paid for that in the second half. In terms of the temperament and desire of the boys, I can't have any regrets, but we must be disappointed with the result.
"We are still on track despite these last two matches. We have learned through ourselves and others' results that it is possible to drop points like this. Congratulations to Crotone."