AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli has tried to quash once and for all any idea that his players were wrong for using their phones in the dressing room.
The Rossoneri came from a goal down to earn a draw against Napoli on Saturday night as Giacomo Bonaventura’s thunderous strike cancelled out Hirving Lozano’s fluke opener.
As is customary on broadcasts, the cameras showed the inside of the changing room prior to the game at San Siro where Lucas Biglia, Ante Rebic and Franck Kessie were all seen sat on their phones.
The footage provoked an angry reaction from a number of Milan fans, who believe that the trio should have been focusing more on game preparation.
Biglia’s agent came out and clarified his client’s reasoning for being on his phone – claiming he was using the club’s official app, but now Pioli has attempted to squash the issue once and for all.
“I would like to clarify that with regard to the use of the phones I have introduced a strict regulation that states that players cannot use it for lunch and dinner, so to speak,” he told il Corriere della Sera (via MilanNews.it).
“I accept the criticism for the results that we would like to have been different but I would like to clarify that in the prepartion the use of telephones is allowed to players for two reasons.
“On the one hand, each of them relaxes listening to their own playlist, something that also happens in all Italian teams since smartphones have existed, and on the other, above all, each player is required to consult the app that the technical staff has delivered.
“Each player has videos to store for to study the characteristics of their opponents that gravitate in their areas of competence. In practice they were carrying out a sort of homework!
“If anything they were doing their duty. Biglia was just watching the videos of the app related to Napoli players. We collect the complaints for the results I hope for soon, and I understand that at first sight certain images can arouse the reactions of the last few hours.
“But if I had been certain that the players were intent on calling or sending messages before a major game, I would be angry first. In this case, when it happened, I was not present: when I enter the TV in the locker room I prefer to go out.”
On Krzysztof Piatek’s recent struggles in front of goal, he added: “I have not questioned Kris. After a game I make evaluations on all.”
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