Serie A: AC Milan's Cristian Brocchi faces baptism by fire against Sampdoria

Cristian Brocchi
Brocchi was part of the AC Milan team from 2001 to 2008
Modified 15 Apr 2016

It will be a baptism by fire for new AC Milan coach Cristian Brocchi when the 40-year-old begins his tenure with a Serie A trip to Sampdoria on Sunday.

Brocchi, an AC Milan midfielder from 2001 to 2008, was put in charge on Tuesday, replacing Sinisa Mihajlovic, who failed to put the Rossoneri back to their old winning ways.

Mihajlovic had succeeded two AC Milan players-turned-managers in Clarence Seedorf and Filippo Inzaghi. Milan are sixth in the table on 49 points with six games left, 15 points behind third-placed Roma and no chance of a Champions League spot.

They might end up with some silverware if they win the Coppa Italia's final against Juventus on 21 May but Brocchi would not look so far ahead.

"We cannot think about Juve, we have to win the matches ahead of us first of all," he said.

"I have adopted some of the characteristics (of coaches Cesare Prandelli and Carlo Ancelotti) and this will help me," he explained.

"Pinning our opponents back in their own half and pressing will be something that I will request. We must have an aggressive mentality."

Youth to be given a chance

Milan have a lacklustre squad and a possible sale of the club has been stalling lately, giving little hope of big changes in a club that have not won the Serie A title since 2011.

Brocchi, who was the club's youth team coach before he replaced Mihajlovic, will be keen to rely on some young players from the academy.

"We don’t have many matches left this season, but if there is a chance and opportunity, we have lots of interesting players from the youth sector."

"I have always wanted my teams to take the initiative and not sit back. But achieving that goal will take time," he said.

Leaders Juventus, who lead Napoli by six points, take on relegation-threatened Palermo on Sunday.

They welcome back in the squad Argentine striker Paulo Dybala, who took part in Wednesday's training session after sustaining a thigh injury.

Napoli travel to Inter Milan, who are fourth and trail Roma by six points.

Published 15 Apr 2016
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