Pioli offers update on Kessie situation and fitness of Caldara ahead of Napoli clash

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli has revealed that Franck Kessie will be considered for selection against Napoli after being left out versus Juventus.

Pioli faced the media ahead of a crucial clash with Napoli at San Siro on Saturday night, in which Milan will be looking to begin a surge up the table.

The Rossoneri have lost seven of their first 12 games to begin the season and currently sit down in 14th place, with an immediate impact not achieved under the new head coach.

In fact, Milan could even set an unwanted club record should they lose this weekend’s game against Carlo Ancelotti’s side, but it could also be a vital launching point against a side also struggling and seemingly in turmoil off the field.

Pioli began by discussing the international break, and in particular how it disrupts his preparation at Milanello.

“I don’t like the breaks, I prefer to coach the whole team. The fact that our players are back is a good testimony to the quality of the squad I have. Only Rodriguez has a small problem, we’ll see if he is available,” he said (via MilanNews.it).

“The mercato? Breaks are more appealing to you than to us to be able to talk about other topics. We are focused on the difficult and very important match tomorrow, there will be more than 60 thousand people at the stadium. We have to give 200% and that is that I expect from the team.

“We start from the performance in Turin, we have certain values ​​and we can put them on the field. I don’t know if it’s easier to play against a strong team, Napoli is equipped to win the championship, we must have a proactive and non-passive attitude against any opponent, the moment is delicate and must be faced with absolute awareness.”

Reports from a number of outlets have claimed that Mattia Caldara is back and ready for selection, but Pioli believes he is still a fortnight away from a return to action.

“He is better, but he is not yet ready to play with us. Tomorrow he will play with Primavera, hoping he can put rhythm in his legs and his head for the whole 90 minutes.

“I think he still needs a couple of weeks to fill the gap with my teammates. Then I will choose the best ones.”

Pioli was then asked whether Kessie will be considered for selection after he was dropped from the squad for the game against Juve.

“Absolutely yes, it is my intention to have everyone available. Then it depends on the player, I have seen Kessie even if he only returned yesterday.

“It is normal to make a mistake, but then it depends on them to have right attitudes and to make oneself available.”


Tags AC Milan Franck Kessie Mattia Caldara Ricardo Rodriguez Stefano Pioli
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