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MILAN YOUTH SET FOR LAST GROUP STAGE MATCH IN SA

MILAN – The Milan Primavera face South Africa U-19 tomorrow at 17.15 in the final group stage match of the Durban Tournament. The venue for the match is the Sugar Ray Xulu Stadium, South Africa.

Ahead of the match with the host nation, the rossoneri youth team will hold a double training session today.

The Milan Primavera have lost their first two encounters in Group B at the prestigious pre-season tournament, but they have both been close losing 3-2 to Stuttgart and 4-2 to Galatasaray. 

BROCCHI FOCUSES ON FITNESS AHEAD OF RESULTS

MILAN – Youth team coach Cristian Brocchi gave an interview after his side’s 4-2 defeat to Galatasaray yesterday in the Durban Tournament. The prestigious pre-season tournament in South Africa may not have so far produced any wins for the rossoneri youngsters, with 2 defeats from the first 2 group stage matches, but Brocchi is more focused at this stage on building-up match fitness ahead of the new season:

"It was a fair result. To play football, you have to run a lot and at this moment we’re not ready yet to do this because we’re still building up our fitness levels and so it’s normal to struggle against sides that are fitter than us."

Commenting on the tournament in South Africa which is putting his players to the test: "It’s a really great tournament and very useful. It was our choice to come up against top level teams to try and step-up our pre-season preparations and play against sides that would make us work hard from a physical point of view."

Brocchi’s youth team face South Africa U-19 in the third and final group stage match on the 3rd of August. Click here to read more.

TODAY AT MILANELLO: AFTERNOON TRAINING

MILAN – Following yesterday’s day-off, and with the tour of China now behind them, the rossoneri will resume training today at Milanello.

An afternoon training session is scheduled for Mihajlovic’s men as they begin preparations for the Audi Cup scheduled for the start of next week. Click here to read more about the tournament which pits Milan against Bayern Munich and then one of Real Madrid or Tottenham Hotspur.

Also, make sure you visit the website later today for a full training report and the latest news from Milanello.

MIHAJLOVIC AIMS FOR TOP-THREE FINISH

MILAN - Sinisa Mihajlovic has given an exclusive interview to the Milan Channel, providing an update on how he is settling in at Milanello and on the team's pre-season preparations. The Milan coach believes there is still plenty to work on, but is satisfied with the commitment of his players as the countdown begins to the first Serie A match of the season versus Fiorentina:

Opening comments: "I’m satisfied with the work that we have done so far, seeing as there have been a lot of changes in terms of the players, our training methods, the formation and we are training a lot. But the players have been very committed, they’re trying to follow the instructions and put them into practice during the matches. We know there is still a long way to go, but there is still a month to go before the start of the Serie A season and I am convinced that on August 23 we will be ready in all areas."

On what it takes to be a successful coach: "You have to be clear, fair and show the players respect and make them understand the situation with specific rules that have to be followed, as without them you will go nowhere. They’re all intelligent lads and a coach has to be good at getting his ideas across and making himself understood by his players."

The coach was asked which players have stood out so far: "I don’t like to talk about individual players, but if I have to make an exception, I’ll do it for the younger members of the squad like Calabria and Ely, who are both showing they are up to the standard and have done really well in all of the matches they have played in. They’re 2 promising players, with big room for improvement, and with us they will continue to improve. I don’t want to forget anyone else, but these are the 2 players that I knew the least about, and for this reason perhaps they have impressed me the most."

Mihajlovic has already worked with the skipper and is sure he will be a key player for the rossoneri: "I know Montolivo perhaps better than the others because I had the fortune of coaching him at Fiorentina. I know him as a person and the characteristics that he has. He’s a player that can play as a holding midfielder or as an internal midfielder. He can play in a 2 man or in our 3 man midfield. He can cover both of these roles and we’ll assess match by match where to position him. He’s coming back from an injury and is improving. He’s been training and also had some playing time in 2 matches and did fairly well, so I’m very happy. He’s certainly an important player that will give us a big hand over the course of the season."

Closing comments: "The Milan squad is competitive. We have made some excellent signings. We’re still waiting for another one or two. I think that with this squad, and with the additions of the other players that we have in mind, our objective becomes that of a top-three finish. We have a strong squad, are working well and are confident. This makes me convinced that we will have a great season."

YOUTH: MILAN SPIRIT NOT ENOUGH VERSUS GALATASARAY

MILAN – The Milan Primavera’s second group stage match at the Durban International Football Tournament against Galatasaray has ended 4-2 in favour of the Turkish outfit. 

The rossoneri made a bright start to the match and after only 5 minutes La Ferrara tried his luck but saw his shot go over the bar. 5 minutes later Milan were causing problems once again as Vassallo came down the left although his conclusion was off target. Instead, and just after the half-hour mark, it was the Turkish side that broke the deadlock through Yesilyurt and shortly after Goksu doubled their lead. After coming close early on in the half, La Ferrara did eventually manage to find the back of the net and in first half stoppages he reduced the gap.

It wasn’t long though before Galatasaray restored their two goal cushion with Yesilyurt on the score-sheet once again on 53 minutes. Milan didn’t lose heart and reacted brilliantly to cut the gap just one minute later thanks to Mastour who scored with a shot from the edge of the penalty area. Unfortunately for Cristian Brocchi’s team there was to be no equaliser or comeback and on 82 minutes Galatasaray sealed the win when Caliskan made it 4-2 to the Turkish side.

DAY OFF TODAY FOR THE PLAYERS

MILAN – After landing back in Italy yesterday evening from China, coach Sinisa Mihajlovic has granted the players a day-off.

Training will recommence tomorrow afternoon at Milanello followed by another session on Monday morning. Shortly after Monday’s session, the rossoneri will make their way to Munich, Germany for the Audi Cup.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE on the pre-season tournament.

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