AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli was interviewed by Sky Sport (via Milannews.it) in view of tomorrow’s match against Lazio at the San Siro.
“My group is an attentive group, interested in working well together the results make the difference and change everything, we must do everything to achieve positive results,” he said.
After two matches without a win, the midweek clash against Spal brought Pioli’s first victory on the Rossoneri bench and the former Lazio coach will want to build on this success against his former club.
“Lazio? I think they are a very strong team. With their first eleven, they can play against anyone. They combine physicality and quality. We have to respond with physicality, even if we have less, and of course with quality. You can’t think of winning just by playing dirty, we have to put a lot of quality into it.
“My Lazio and the current Milan? The situations and dynamics change. At Lazio I started with a summer preparation, here it was different. Lazio did not start with certain ambitions, while at Milan they are there. Milan can become as beautiful as Lazio was in that season but we are only at the beginning of the path.”
With the victory against Spal, the Rossoneri moved up in the table to tenth place, but with the current Serie A dynamic and unpredictability of matchups, Pioli’s team is only six points away from positions guaranteeing Champions League football. The 54-year-old technician addressed the possibility of Champions League qualification during his interview.
“The Champions League? We have to believe it. If you believe, it becomes possible. You commit yourself day or night to reach it. We will draw the conclusions at the end of the season but we must demonstrate the spirit, determination. When we are a team we can play with everyone.
“In the minds of the players, I think it is a very important match. Beating a very strong team would increase conviction and awareness. The goal is to win against Lazio to have the chance to improve in the standings.”
The former Fiorentina man also went on to speak about individuals, namely Suso and Lucas Paqueta, who have had a lot of ups and downs so far this season and have received a lot of criticism from the fans. He also addressed the Spaniard’s recent social media message after his winning goal against Spal.
“Paqueta? I try to put the players in the best conditions to express the best quality and potential, within the context of the team. I adapt a lot to the characteristics of the players, I try to always put them in a position to play at their best.
“Suso? The awareness of being part of an important team, of being an important player, gives the possibility to react with great strength. We have the possibility to change the season, with self-esteem and confidence.
“What Suso did is the signal of a team that wants to try to improve. It doesn’t matter who plays, it counts how everyone sacrifices himself for his teammates. It is not a question of putting a player on the bench,” Pioli concluded.