AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli has insisted that every side has weaknesses ahead of the upcoming derby against title challengers Inter.
The 54-year-old was coach of the Nerazzurri for most of the 2016-17 season, leading them on an incredible recovery after a shocking start to the campaign before being fired in May after a run of five losses and two draws.
Pioli will get the chance to face his former side this time from the Rossoneri dugout on Sunday night as Milan take on Inter in what promises to be a crucial Derby della Madonnina.
Antonio Conte’s side are three points off pace-setters Juventus and one point above Lazio in third spot, and are in desperate need of another three points.
Milan however have undergone somewhat of a resurgence since the turn of the year as they remain currently unbeaten, having won five of their last six games in all competitions.
On the sidelines of the delivery of the “Golden Bench” to Coverciano, Pioli spoke about the upcoming derby, and his words were transcribed by MilanNews.it.
“Inter are strong, they are a solid and compact team. We will put our characteristics into play,” he said.
“All teams have weak points. The team is growing. It has changed a lot, we have been together for 4 months and in 4 months the mechanisms cannot be perfect. We are working to improve them.”
On Ibrahimovic: “He got the flu. I hope he can train well all week and be on the field in the derby. He is very important for us.
“It is clear that the less you rely on a single player and the more you have the possibility of having the right balance and giving greater advantages in other situations, the better.
“It is inevitable that important players will then be able to give the team better performance, like if we took Lukaku away from Inter, Dzeko from Rome, Immobile from Lazio and Ronaldo from Juventus.
“It is clear that Zlatan is important for us, but the team works to grow and improve in those situations that put us in difficulty, but we have fielded important performances with quality and with the right intensity.”
He also spoke to Sky Italia at the event as well, praising Daniel Maldini after he made his debut during Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Hellas Verona.
“He is a talented boy with good technique good with both feet. He is a young man with good hopes. I thought it was the right time to put him in,” he said.
On targets for the season, he added: “Europe must be a target for a prestigious club like Milan. The only thing we have to do and focus on is our daily work and trying to face all the next matches.
“The season is complicated and competitive, winning games will be difficult and we have to show good performances.”