Pioli defends ‘down in the dumps’ De Ketelaere: “He has everything we expected”

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli has defended Charles De Ketelaere and praised Divock Origi after tonight’s win against Monza at San Siro.

De Ketelaere should have got himself off the mark for Milan when he was found totally unmarked inside the area towards the end of the game, but the ball took a bounce that he didn’t read and he ended up slicing at thin air.

At the end of the game the team went to celebrate under the Curva Sud and everyone was present except De Ketelaere, who left the field with his head bowed as he was obviously disconsolate for the missed chance a few minutes earlier, and he went straight down the tunnel.

Pioli spoke in the conference room at San Siro after the victory to give his thoughts on the performance of his side and the win, with his comments transcribed by MilanNews.

Are you more satisfied with the victory or more worried about the physical problems of your players?

“Satisfied with the performance, but it was not an easy match. We did well on the defensive side but we can do better. We scored 4 goals against an opponent who had only conceded 1 in the last 4 games. They seem like mild things for Dest and Brahim, I hope this is the case because important matches like the one on Tuesday in Zagreb await us.”

Is it the same mission for De Ketelaere as it was for Brahim Diaz?

“I am here to help my players. Brahim is doing well because he has quality and he is proud, so does Charles and he will too. We must respect the growth and adaptation times; of course he was disappointed, but it was not easy to score that chance. Being a little down in the dumps is normal, but he has everything we expected, he has to continue as he is doing.”

A good thing and a bad thing about the evening?

“We started as an attentive team, with personality, without forcing, hitting Milan where we knew we could find them. In the second half we had to dribble better, controlling the game better.”

Why didn’t Thiaw come on?

“I made the choice that I thought was the best for the team.”

Do Monza play like Dinamo?

“They are different. Dinamo Zagreb cover more preventives, attack with fewer players but when they do it they do it well. They have not lost at home [this season], it will be difficult.”

Is Origi a striker more suited to his way of playing?

“I am very happy to have both. I am very happy for Divock, he has suffered a lot. I hope to have both of them available, they are very strong forwards. I have many strong players and there is the right spirit. Divock has characteristics to restart with more leg, Giroud he’s a different player.”

Tags AC Milan Stefano Pioli
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