Pioli says Milan ‘know what they need to do’ to play at Champions League level

By Euan Burns -

AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli says that his team knows what they have to do now to play competitively at Champions League level. 

Speaking during an interview with Sky Sport Italia (via Milan News) the night before the match against RB Salzburg which kicks off the Champions League campaign, Pioli suggested that the club have learnt a lot from last season.

They were eliminated in the group stage last season and they never really looked like progressing to the Round of 16 which could be very financially lucrative. The group contained Liverpool, Atletico Madrid and FC Porto but the Rossoneri finished fourth.

“I had to remind the team that many of us last year were on our debut and we may have been insecure. The team now knows what they have to do to play at this level: passion, teamwork and never giving up. Tomorrow we have an opportunity to exploit this,” Pioli said.

He was asked about what remains from the derby win in the minds of the players and he focused on the performance element rather than anything else.

“What remains for us is the awareness of having played excellent football for 70 minutes. Tomorrow is a different game, Salzburg is a fast, intense team, used to playing the game. We’ll need a high-level Milan team.”

He held a meeting with Milan president Gerry Cardinale at Milanello yesterday, on which he said: “Cardinale has great charisma and passion, everyone liked his speech. He transmitted energy, we know that we have an important and solid club behind us and that allows us to do our job in the best possible way.”

He is not deciding on his final team until the morning training session on Tuesday: “Tomorrow morning we’ll have the last refinement, today the team seemed in good condition. The important thing is to be focused.”

On the quality of Rafael Leao, who scored twice in the Derby della Madonnina: “I don’t think there has been a single moment that has determined the turning point in his growth.

“He has always been very generous, with the potential he has he should not settle and he is not doing so. He must also make mistakes, he must know how to judge and evaluate himself, he is doing it with great intelligence and continuity.”



Tags AC Milan Champions League Inter Rafael Leao RB Salzburg Stefano Pioli
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