Pioli praises spirit after ‘complicated game’ and admits: “We played well but not very well”

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli praised the spirit showed by his team as they stuck in there to nick a late winner against Spezia this afternoon.

It looked like Milan were going to throw away two points when Spezia levelled inside the final 15 minutes of the game through a deflected shot, but a late goal from Brahim Diaz ended up being the decisive one as the Rossoneri edged a very cagey game.

Daniel Maldini had earlier given Milan the lead with a header early in the second half, but the Diavolo did waste a few chances to get an all important second goal before the equaliser went in. Thankfully, it was cometh the hour cometh the man again as Brahim scored the winner.

Pioli spoke to DAZN after the game to give his thoughts on what was a tough test for the Rossoneri, with his comments transcribed by MilanNews and translated below.

On Brahim and both attacking midfielders scoring: “They are working a lot for the team and are decisive in the possession and non-possession phases. It was a complicated game and this was a great victory. We played well but not very well and this is important.”

On the personality shown by the team: “It emphasises that we have a young team but the boys believe in their qualities and in our way of playing. We must not lose humility, expectations have increased but I feel attitudes that give me confidence.

“We wanted to put players behind them and there was the possibility of attacking the depth. In the first half we broke the opposing defense a little while in the second half we did it better. We had few dangerous situations.”

On Maldini: “Daniel has talent, he has technique and he sees the game. He has to do a little more in speed and intensity in unmarking. He has to grow above all in that. The first game as a starter he had played a year ago as a false center forward but he worked a lot. Today he played in his role and scored a good goal. He is a player who can give us a lot in the future and who can grow.”

On the depth of the squad: “I can’t wait to have a deep squad. The club has been very good at providing me with a complete team. We have many solutions and this will be the effort we will have to make. It is a game that I feared today, this field is not has the right measures and I do not think it is correct.

“We play every three days and there is a need for a lot of availability and all the guys who come in, give everything. We have to feed this strength. We have been a strong team from a mental point of view and win by suffering it makes us grow. This is the spirit to have.”

On the performances of Leao and Saelemaekers: “Certainly Leao’s position gave us advantages. Theo had movements that worried his opponents. Saelemaekers did well and I expect a lot from him, I think he can grow in reading opposing situations like that of Maggiore. When you play you can. make mistakes but they did well and can still grow.”

READ MORE: Daniel Maldini scores but late Brahim goal fires Rossoneri to win

Tags AC Milan Spezia Milan Stefano Pioli
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