Success in Europe will help Milan's league form, Montella claims
Vincenzo Montella says AC Milan will be able to mount a stronger challenge in Serie A once they secure Europa League qualification.
Vincenzo Montella feels victory over Austria Wien in the Europa League will allow AC Milan to address their tumultuous Serie A form.
The Rossoneri can make certain of qualification from Europa League Group D with a game to spare by winning at San Siro on Thursday, before shifting their attention to the visit of Torino in the league on Sunday.
Milan are seventh in the Serie A table, seven points behind sixth-placed Sampdoria, and Montella is looking forward to being able to focus on improving their domestic campaign.
"It's true that we need results," he told a press conference.
"We have an important opportunity to confirm first place. It would allow us to concentrate more on the league.
"We have a chance to move forward. It's not just an achievement but an objective that we want a lot.
"In Italy, there are no easy games, but we'll face all the teams that are below us in the table, and there are plenty of possibilities for us to get closer to our objectives."
Montella was asked about the possibility of playing two strikers against Austria Wien in the absence of Suso, who was replaced mid-way through Milan's 2-1 defeat to Napoli on Saturday.
The coach suggested he may opt to start with the combination he used in the second half of that match, when Andre Silva partnered Nikola Kalinic in attack.
"It's a possibility," said Montella. "Suso isn't fit and we don't want to risk him. He's also had a fever.
"The two strikers worked well together on Sunday, and we need to supply them better.
"I won't compare myself as a striker to the ones we have now. We had a lot of shots at Napoli, but we need to do better."
While improving Milan's league form remains Montella's top priority, he said a run all the way to the Europa League final was not beyond his side.
"Do Milan have 'the X factor'? I think so. We have what it takes to go up a level," he said.
"It's an important opportunity for all the players. If we are to focus on qualification, I think there'll be a chance for us to focus on the league.
"One doesn't rule out the other because the Europa League final is too far away."