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Christian Abbiati on the Italian Cup and a top three finish


Reserve goalkeeper Christian Abbiati says the Italian Cup is an objective for Milan this season.

The 37-year-old took over from coach Filippo Inzaghi for today's press conference ahead of the game against Sassuolo and says the Italian Cup is as important as the Champions League for the Rossoneri this season.

"We will today prepare the game in the best possible way, we know them [Sassuolo] well and we'll be ready for tomorrow," Abbiati said.

"I care for the Italian Cup, I've been idle for two-three months so it's an important competition for me.

"It's an important competition [for everyone] and lifting the trophy would be a great joy.

"It's our only cup competition this season, in a way it's our Champions [League]. It's an important objective because the winner goes directly into the Europa League.

"[As for a top-three finish], we are a competitive squad, the third place is an objective, we're not that far away from Lazio but we have to take it one game at a time.

"It will not be easy because they are many good teams but it's important to keep fighting until the very end."

Milan have struggled in their first two games of the new year and the goalkeeper say it is important to start taking advantage of home games.

"What bothers me is that teams come at the San Siro believing that they could win when I remember when they used to come here happy not to concede five goals," the 37-year-old said.

"It should again be like this. We can't afford to go idle after taking the lead, we have to press up high the pitch and win the ball back close to their penalty area.

"Last season we had an ever worse start to the season but this season we're not that far away from the third place.

"We can still improve, I hope the Torino game brings no negativity because we played a full half with ten men and it's not easy. So I don't believe we're having fitness problems."

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Christian Abbiati