Pioli jokes about why team were ‘scared’ ahead of Verona clash as he analyses home vs. away form

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli believes his side played a ‘great match’ against a ‘difficult opponent’ in their 2-0 win over Hellas Verona.

The Rossoneri were without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Hakan Calhanoglu, Mario Mandzukic, Ismael Bennacer, Ante Rebic and Daniel Maldini were all left out of the squad, while Theo Hernandez and Sandro Tonali were not fit enough to start.

Milan took the lead late in the first half through a sublime free-kick from Rade Krunic, while early in the second half the Rossoneri made their lead a commanding one through another unlikely source as Diogo Dalot surged into the box and finished emphatically.

Pioli spoke to Milan TV after the game and analysed his team’s performances, with his words transcribed by MilanNews and translated below.

On the performance of some individuals: “Honestly, I wouldn’t talk about individuals. We are Milan, we are a team and we work to give satisfaction. We played a great match and faced a difficult opponent with great commitment and intensity. We must be satisfied.”

On the excellent performance after the tough game against Udinese: “The boys believe in their quality, in the work we are doing. There is a period of decline considering how much we are playing. I have to be good at picking them when they are at peak condition and letting them rest when they are tired. We have never had doubts about their qualities. We are aware of the difficulties we will encounter but we know that we will face them to the maximum.”

On the approach to the match: “The most important thing when a team takes the field is to have clear ideas. We had them, we had the right spirit and we have shown it. The guys got off on the pitch well and won a lot of tackles and a lot of second balls. This is it. Against today’s opponents, it is a great sign.”

On the fact the team seem to be better away: “We are working and thinking about the evaluations of the change in performance in some home and away games. There is something we are lacking at home in terms of pace. We need to improve in the aggression of the spaces and in the offensive aggression because if we continue like this away and at home we improve our ranking…”

On the possible concerns of the team in the face of many injuries: “The team was scared because I said I was going to play. So they thought they had to commit and let me stay in my place (laughs). No jokes aside, the boys care, we know what shirt we wear. The boys are proud of this jersey. I have no doubts about the determination and will of my boys.”

READ MORE: Hellas Verona 0-2 AC Milan – Player ratings

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Tags AC Milan Hellas Verona Milan Stefano Pioli
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