After the victory with Cagliariil Milan hosts the Lazio at the Meazza with the aim of trying to break away from Inter at the top of the table. Here are the statements from Stefano Pioli on the eve of the match at San Siro against the men of Maurizio Sarri.
Important summer coaching friendlies?
“We had to play these types of matches. They taught us a lot. Certain high-level matches require high concentration and we will also have to do the same against Lazio tomorrow”
Milan at 100% against Lazio and Borussia
“We feel good and want to find competitiveness. Tomorrow, however, is the important match on which we must concentrate. We experienced all the situations with balance. The bad experience of the derby was a new beginning from which to start again. Today we are not perfect, but we must put in the best performance to win”
“If someone makes a mistake in a pass he doesn’t necessarily take his opponent lightly. However, from someone like him you should expect him to make less and less mistakes”
The depth of the rose
“We are only at the beginning of our journey and our climb. There will still be many matches to face and difficulties to overcome. I am convinced of the quality and attitudes of my players. What I am seeing is positive, but it must be carried forward with strength, generosity and attention. After the break, another season began. And to stay at the top you need to be strong in the head, individually and as an organization”
Where is Milan at now?
“There are various situations within the match in which we are already at a good level, others in which we still have to grow a lot. But it is normal in the path of a team that has made many changes. Now, however, only tomorrow’s performance counts. Playing It often helps in a positive way to immediately throw away what has been done and immediately think about the next match. It’s important to give continuity to performances and results.”
Milan in the lead
“The top doesn’t count at the moment. What counts is the desire to do well and interpret them well. There are no easy races, but neither are they impossible. It depends on how you prepare for it and how you approach it. In training I saw the right things , but now everything must be put in place”
Adli’s change of role
“He has great character and had great patience and mental strength, maintaining a certain type of attitude despite having played little. I told him that the position in front of the defense remained available and he did so with great availability and attention. He had to understand the new situation and the new dynamics in managing the ball in that position, but I am happy with the answers he has given. He is still not perfect and he has to work a lot, but he has the quality and availability to do an excellent job. Believing in one’s abilities is important for players of this level”
“Kalulu’s injury was unnecessary, both for the quality of the player and for the rotations. For Pellegrino it will still take some time to deploy him from the start. I only have to rotate the three central defenders evaluating match after match”
“Milan must not be slaves to the players because the club has been good at signing many strong players. Our mentality and our style of play must not change depending on who plays. And I must find the right balance”
The drops during the race and Musah
“Wanting to control the matches is part of our new path. But controlling does not mean slowing down the pace and stopping being dangerous. With Cagliari we made a serious mistake on the goal. We must learn to manage, but remaining dangerous vertically. Musah can play in all positions in midfield. He has different characteristics from Krunic, he is complete. Everywhere he will be an important player for the team.”
Obstacle Lazio and Chukwueze
“Lazio have been playing together for many years and have lines of play that are recognisable, but with great quality and speed. They have players who can find the play at any time. Regardless of the moment, they are a strong team and an opponent to be respected and to be faced with our characteristics. Chukwueze knows very well what he has to do and he did it well the other evening. We expect some more solutions from him in the offensive phase and some goals, but he is growing”
The criticisms after the derby
“When the calendar came out I didn’t look too far ahead. We just thought about preparing better for every single match. The criticisms after the derby? We are Milan, we want to win and we have to be competitive. The club is making a great journey, being competitive with positive and healthy balance sheets. We must continue like this. The expectations are high and the criticisms are also high. We must overcome the difficulties and question ourselves every time. We do not get excited and we do not get depressed even if the defeat in the derby was heavy for everything the environment”
“The positions of Reijnders and Loftus-Cheek give us many solutions. Limiting Reijnders by fixing him in Krunic’s position would be a shame, but he can certainly do it. Krunic should return in mid-October. He is better, but the times are still long and not precise”
Inter-Milan power relationship
“Data is always part of the past. In May it will be established who will be the best. I think Juve will be favorites for the scudetto. Not playing in the Cup gives you a few more points in the championship”
“I knew him as a winger and I wanted to test him as a central striker. He worked with quantity, quality and important availability. I am very happy with his performance in Cagliari. He is a striker with different characteristics than Giroud, like Jovic. We will also be able to play with two tips in some matches or parts of the match”
The speed of the ball
“I believe that we need to make the opponents move. As long as they don’t move, the ball must stay still. The speed of the ball doesn’t always create spaces”
Already a direct clash?
“It’s too early to say, but it’s an important clash. There are two matches left until the break and it would be essential to give continuity to the results and performances”
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