Pioli confirms rotation in Prague, gives update on injured trio and shoots down Rangnick question

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli has insisted that every player in his squad has some part to play in the club’s project, but that rotations will occur in the next game.

Pioli is apparently getting ready to make wholesale changes to his starting XI for Thursday night’s trip to face Sparta Praha at the Stadion Letna, with qualification for the knockout stages already in the bag.

All that needs to be resolved is whether Milan finish first or second in their group, but there is also another chance for certain players to prove that they belong firmly in Pioli’s plans.

The boss spoke to reporters in the press room at Milanello ahead of Thursday’s trip to Prague, with the questions and his responses relayed by MilanNews.

What do you think when you hear about Milan having a first and a second team?

“There is great competitiveness at Milan. I asked the club for a quality group and they satisfied my request. Tomorrow a team that will give its best and try to win will be on the pitch.”

Are you aiming to take advantage of the squad you have available?

“Everyone is a main player in our project. We are many, but there are also many matches. Tomorrow there will be room for those who have played less so far.” 

How did you find the return trip from Genoa, with the players singing your name?

“We always prepare ourselves as hard as possible to win games. It is normal to celebrate a victory, but then the next day we immediately think about the next game. There is no euphoria, but great satisfaction.”

How is Ibrahimovic? 

“He is better, he is continuing his recovery. We will see where it takes us.”

What point are your Milan at?

“It is not possible to reach 100%, in football there is no perfection. It is difficult to give a percentage, but I still think that we are very young and we still have ample room for improvement both from an individual and team point of view.”

How is Leao? Are you satisfied with Tonali’s performance in Genoa? 

“Leao is better and is available for tomorrow. I would like him to play a part of the match, he has been out for a few weeks, but I hope to have him play a part. Sandro played a good match in Genoa, but he must not be satisfied.”

What do you feel like saying to Rangnick?

“There is no answer to this question.”

What do you think of the growth of Gabbia?

“It is right to underline his growth, he is proving to have become a starter for Milan. He is young but already plays with great personality.” 

How’s Bennacer doing? 

“He has had some problems in the last few days. He will not be called up for tomorrow, but I think he will be in the group on Friday and I think he can be available for Sunday against Parma.” 

Tags AC Milan Sparta Praha Milan Stefano Pioli