AC Milan legend Demetrio Albertini says the Rossoneri must not look for excuses if they fail to challenge for the Serie A title this season.
The 46-year-old won five Scudetti during a distinguished career at San Siro, but Milan's last top-flight title came in the 2010-11 campaign with the club having struggled to compete at the top in recent seasons.
However, there are seemingly brighter times on the horizon for one of Serie A's most prestigious clubs, with Milan embarking on a heavy spending spree backed by their wealthy Chinese owners during the last transfer window.
The likes of Leonardo Bonucci, Ricardo Rodriguez and Andre Silva have all signed up with Vincenzo Montella's men and Milan have won their opening two league games.
Montella has issued a note of warning over the expectation levels at the club, calling for his new-look side to be given time to gel.
But Albertini wants Milan to set their stall high.
"I believe that if you want to build a successful project, you must keep a winning mindset and eventually evaluate the difficulties faced afterwards, at the end of the campaign," he told Omnisport.
"There shouldn't be any alibi or excuses in advance - the club shouldn't think today about possible problems that might never be faced.
2 - AC Milan have won both the 2 first Serie A matchdays for the second time in the last 11 seasons. Concrete. #MilanCagliari-- OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) August 27, 2017
"It is true that the club has changed a lot. It is likely to find difficult moments along the way, it's true that it's a very young squad and it's also true that AC Milan might have lost the habit of competing for the Scudetto.
"But, on the other side, it's also true that it's AC Milan, a glorious club with a history and a big stadium.
"And, therefore, players should think they can win the Scudetto already this year and approach this campaign with confidence."
Milan face a difficult trip to Lazio on Sunday and, while acknowledging that there is a long way to go yet, Albertini says it is important that his former club continue to build on their winning start to the campaign.
"This game won't reveal the real value of this AC Milan - it's still too early in the season and we'll have to wait until December to understand if the Rossoneri could be a real contender," he continued.
"But it's also true that, at the end of the season, these points will also matter. Clubs win the Scudetto with the points gained from the opening matches too.
"Losing these games wouldn't affect the team's morale, because there is plenty of time to recover, and winning wouldn't mean too much either in terms of building confidence.
"But, in terms of points, this game will have the same importance as those that will be played in May, because it's worth three points that might be decisive at the end."