Under-pressure Montella summons spirit of Churchill

Milan (AFP) –


Vincenzo Montella summoned the spirit of Britain's World War II leader Winston Churchill on Saturday as he remained defiant amid reports his days were numbered as AC Milan coach.

Milan host Genoa on Sunday in a must-win game for Montella's future after three consecutive Serie A defeats to Sampdoria, Roma and Inter Milan were followed by a goalless draw at home by AEK Athens in Europa League.

The former European heavyweights have plunged to tenth away from the Champions League and Europa League berths.

Faced with questions about his future at the Chinese-owned club, the 43-year-old quoted Churchill to defend his position.

"My future? I'm lucid and motivated, I would like to quote Churchill, 'Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm'," he told a press conference.

"I feel the same joy at training Milan now as the first day, but I know the risks of the trade.

"But my whole life has always been full of risk taking. I left home very young to dream of being a player, I started to coach Roma young, I took on Fiorentina after years in the wilderness. Risks do not scare me but bring out the best in me," insisted Montella.

Despite recent criticism of his tactics, Montella said he had a "solid relationship" with director of sport Massimiliano Mirabelli.

"At the end of every match we meet and talk for hours about the game. I'm in the best position to work, I don't get pressure or suggestions," added the former Italian international striker.