Because less players equal more space to pass and move

AC Milan sporting director backs Vincenzo Montella

AC Milan head coach Vincenzo Montella has got a vote of confidence from sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli following the Rossoneri's 2-0 defeat at the hands of AS Roma on Sunday.

The Serie A outfit succumbed to their third loss in seven league games over the weekend, and this has increased the pressure on the manager, who spent over €200 million on 11 players in the summer.

Speaking after the game, Mirabelli offered his support to the former Sampdoria manager, he told Mediaset: "We're only at the seventh round of matches. We've got a new squad and neither Montella nor any other coach has a magic wand. We've changed a lot. You don't get the desired results from the get-go. We've got a group of players who must become a squad and, as far as we are concerned, Montella is working well. We've just got to hope that his work leads to great results."

Meanwhile, former boss Carlo Ancelotti has been linked with a proposed return to San Siro, but Mirabelli brushed off the speculation stating that the club have the confidence in Montella, he added: "The rumours make us smile," he added. "Our project continues with Montella."

Milan take on fierce rivals Inter in the next league outing following the international break, and the pressure will be on Montella to perform with their cross-city rivals seven points ahead of them in the standings. Champions League football remains the prime focus for the Rossoneri during the current season, but the failure to secure a top-four finish could potentially see the departure of several key players including Gianluigi Donnarumma, who is attracting interest from Europe's elite.

Donnarumma signed a fresh long-term contract with Milan earlier in the summer, but he made sure that he inserted multiple release clauses depending on the club's performance through the campaign. The teenage shot-stopper currently has an escape clause of £88m, which could be halved in the club's failure to secure Champions League football.