Fikayo Tomori has admitted that it was tough to watch Milan lose 5-1 to Inter while missing out through suspension, but hoped to return to the starting line-up when Newcastle visit San Siro in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
The England international joined coach Stefano Pioli for media duty on Monday afternoon, telling the media in the press room at Milanello that the Rossoneri hope to start their European journey in winning fashion.
“I’m disappointed not to have been able to help my teammates on the pitch. Watching the match on TV is tough, you can’t help the team,” Tomori told the press. “Tomorrow I’ll be on the pitch, I hope. We’ll try to win and start the group well.
Plenty of questions have been asked as of late over Sandro Tonali’s return to San Siro, having left to join Tuesday’s opponents Newcastle just over two months ago.
“Obviously it will be nice to see him again. We played a lot of games together,” Tomori said. However, there will be no pleasantries once the teams step out onto the pitch.
“It will be nice to see him again so soon after he left, but we are professionals. When the game starts, friendships go out of the window. We want to win. After the game we can start being friends again. During the game, though, we are not friends.”
There was another reunion at Milanello on Monday morning as Zlatan Ibrahimovic returned to the club as a visitor during training earlier in the day.
“Ibra gives us confidence,” Tomori said. “He is a massive voice in the dressing room and we all respect him.”
On Rafael Leao and whether he can become one of the world’s top players, Tomori replied: “Why not? He has improved a lot since I arrived here. He is very important for us and it showed in the Champions League last year. He can still improve, he can become one of the big stars.”
Then, the former Chelsea defender was asked to provide some insight into Tuesday’s opponents.
He told the press: “They are a very strong team, with legs up front and physicality at the back. They like to play it deep. We know what we’re expecting from them and then we have to demonstrate our quality with and without the ball.”
Champions League action for the 2023-24 campaign gets underway at San Siro at 17.45 UK time on Tuesday evening.