AC Milan coach Pippo Inzaghi has pleaded for patience from the club's fans ahead of the new Serie A season.
The Rossoneri missed out on European football after finishing eighth last season and the supporters' spirits have hardly been lifted by the club's underwhelming activity in the summer transfer market and a succession of dismal results on the recent tour of the United States.
Inzaghi, who was appointed coach in June, is aware that Milan are being panned by both their public and the press, but he feels that he and his team deserve time to restore the club to their former glory.
“Fortunately, my lads don’t read that much," he said of the negative newspaper coverage at a press conference on Friday.
"Last season we finished eighth and there is a new coach so we need to have some patience.
"We will give everything in the league to reach a position where we deserve to be and the fans should know this.
"There are teams ahead of us but we have kept players who seemed to be leaving and we will give any team a hard time.
"These players will work hard and make sure the fans are behind us."
Indeed, Inzaghi, a former crowd favourite at San Siro during his illustrious playing career, is desperate to lure the fans back to the Giuseppe Meazza.
"Milan have given me so much and I am proud to be coaching them," he explained.
"I hope this is a positive year for Milan and for the fans as well as President Berlusconi, Adriano Galliani and Barbara Berlusconi.
"The best gift would be filling the San Siro again and we must do this on 31 August. I know how the Milan fans think and they will be back."
The supporters are hoping for at least one stellar signing before the new Serie A season gets under way at the end of the month, with Milan said to be hoping to sign either Torino attacker Alessio Cerci or Paris Saint-Germain winger Ezequiel Lavezzi, and Inzaghi is expecting some new arrivals.
"Everyone knows very well which players I want and the club agrees with me so it is only right that Galliani talks about the transfer market," he stated.
"This is a competitive squad and if someone else arrives, so much the better. Otherwise, we have this squad and [Nigel] De Jong will be back next week and then we will have [Riccardo] Montolivo fit down the line."