AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli has called on the Rossoneri faithful to continue their fantastic support ahead of Wednesday’s Coppa Italia clash against SPAL.
The Rossoneri have qualified for the final eight of the cup in each of their last ten seasons, and they will be hoping to do the same against Serie A’s bottom-placed side at San Siro.
Around 30,000 fans areexpected at the stadium, and Pioli previewed the clash in an interview with Milan TV.
“Our fans never deny themselves. Their support and passion is is with us and has accompanied us in delicate moments. We have a duty towards them to try to do better in this game,” he said (via MilanNews.it).
“Unfortunately we have collected too few victories in front of our fans, matches that had to be unlocked and that perhaps we should have won too, I do not say easily. But now we must focus on our present, our future and about what tomorrow’s game is, which is an important game we care about.”
Milan ran out 2-0 winners on Saturday against Cagliari, thanks to goals from Rafael Leao and Zlatan Ibrahimovic and a change in system to a 4-4-2.
“We have made the right choices. We prepared each other with the same aggression and strength that Cagliari knows how to put into home games. We hit at the right time, we were a concrete and effective team. On this path we must build our future, these are the characteristics that we have lacked in the past and that must now be present in our performance.
“Players must demonstrate that they should be chosen to play the next game. The change in the game system may have given some more space to others in the squad. Those who are ready, who give availability, who give commitment, who give professionalism are always going to play.”
Goals for 2020?
“We have a final goal: to arrive in May with a better ranking than the one we are in now. 25 points in the first half of the season is not enough for Milan. Our goal is to take many more points to try to to climb positions and to have better performances, from here to the end with great conviction. The balance sheets are made in May. We have the possibility to have a second half better than what we did in the first.”
On the meaning of the Coppa Italia: “The Italian Cup is an important competition. It has always been and has been more since victory allows you to go and play the Europa League.
“The demonstration is that all the great clubs focus on this competition. We are a great club, we have a great history so the Coppa Italia becomes an important goal, but it is useless to look too far ahead if not at the passage of tomorrow night’s round. A difficult game will await us against SPAL.”
There are expected to be as many as five changes to the starting line-up for Wednesday night due to a number of minor injuries.
“We left Cagliari with excellent morale and several problems, as some players had minor injuries that I don’t know if they will all be able to recover in time. The team will have to be competitive and it will be the best possible team.
“It may be that for the best possible it means having fresher players who have not played on Sunday and who, therefore – mentally and physically – will be prepared for tomorrow’s game “
— AC Milan (@acmilan) January 14, 2020