AC Milan will face Hellas Verona tomorrow at the San Siro. Coach Stefano Pioli spoke to Milannews.it at Milanello in his regular pre-match conference.
“I am happy that the transfer market is over. We have handled this situation well by staying focused on our work. The things I expected have been done, now we have a cohesive and compact group,” he said.
Pioli went on to speak about tomorrow’s opponent – Hellas Verona – who have been performing very well this season in Serie A against all odds and who have launched several interesting players like Amrabat or Rrahmani, who will join Fiorentina and Napoli, respectively, in June.
“They are an opponent who is doing well. Juric is doing an excellent job. They will present himself with great determination, they are a team that runs a lot. For us it has been a particular week, we have more than one problem. We have to face the game with the right concentration,” Pioli noted.
The Rossoneri coach also spoke about some of the additions that Milan made in January as well as the case of Lucas Paqueta. He also addressed possible Champions League ambitions as well as the growth of Ante Rebic.
“We have included players of thickness and quality, who have given us more from the point of view of personality. I am referring to Zlatan, Kjaer and also Begovic. We made insertions in the right places.”
“Paqueta? He is an AC Milan player and he has to work well, a lot and give total availability. He is a very good player as are his teammates, he must work to be ready.
“The Champions League? We’re only thinking about tomorrow’s game. We must continue to be even more compact, we must be high in concentration and intensity. Rebic? He must always strive to improve. He can still do better.”
Afterwards, the coach spoke about ‘issues’ that are troubling the team, with Kjaer and Ibrahimovic in doubt for tomorrow’s match. He also spoke about the departures of Suso and Piatek and elaborated on why his team does not score in the first half.
“Kjaer and Ibra have had the flu for 2-3 days, it will be difficult to recover them. Krunic also has problems. I’ll see if I can call him up tonight. Suso and Piatek? Suso greeted us with great serenity. I didn’t see Kris because he left immediately. We had no problems, he always worked with great professionalism.”
“The 4-4-2 without Ibra? We will see, we have positions that can change. It is not the game system that makes you win, but the quality of the game. Conti, Musacchio and Romagnoli one booking away from missing the derby? We must remain focused on tomorrow’s game.
“Why we never score in the first half? It is important to score one more goal but it is true that for our characteristics we have now taking the lead is important. One of our goals is to be aggressive and always take the lead.”
Finally, Pioli was asked to give AC Milan’s transfer market a rating and also spoke about the team’s lack of effectivity from dead-ball situations, especially corner kicks.
“I am satisfied with the market, the votes are not for me to give. In the midfield we will recover Biglia, I have many solutions and players. Piatek has been replaced by Ibra.
“Corner kicks? It’s not true that we’re not dangerous. We don’t score goals but we try to be more and more dangerous and in recent games, we almost scored several times,” Pioli concluded.