Pioli previews ‘physical’ Torino-Milan and assures: “I don’t see a worried team”

By Isak Möller -

On the eve of the clash between AC Milan and Torino, Stefano Pioli spoke to the media at his usual press conference. The manager wants his team to respond to the disappointing 0-0 draw against Bologna with a good performance. 

As a result of the draw last time out, and the fact that both Napoli and Inter won, the Rossoneri are now just one point clear at the top of the standings. There is great pressure, therefore, to bounce back with a win tomorrow.

Speaking to the media during his press, as cited by MilanNews, Pioli shared his thoughts on the season finale and the condition of his players.

Juric said excellent words towards Milan. He was present to watch Bologna game…

“Juric is a coach that I respect a lot, when coaches look at the performances they don’t focus on the results. We had a good match but we couldn’t win. We have to improve certain aspects.”

What is the mood of the team?

“The rest day was already planned and the workweek was done well and with the right quality that will be needed tomorrow.”

Milan haven’t scored a lot. Have you worked on this data?

“The big numbers tell you something, we need to improve our attacking phase in the last 20 meters. We work on many situations, we are trying to do it more carefully.”

What is the situation of Saelemaekers?

“Alex is a Milan starter, everyone is a Milan starter but I have to make decisions. The psycho-physical condition cannot always be 100%. I made certain decisions because at that moment, I thought they were right but there are many other opportunities.”

On the 7-0 win vs. Torino last season…

“That match was a long time ago and Torino are different. It will be a physical and dirty match but we will be ready.”

Are the three for the Scudetto imperfect?

“There are no perfect teams. City had 12-13 points on Liverpool, tomorrow they will face each other with just one point separating them. All teams have ups and downs, to be overcome with work. We have shown that we can overcome difficulties with teamwork: this is what we must focus on.”

What does Milan have more than the others?

“We must enhance our qualities and cover our weak points that are part of us. Our positive aspects, however, are superior.”

What do you think of Pobega’s season?

“Pobega has certainly done well but now is not the right time to talk about next season. Now I have to enhance my squad and then we will think about the future.”

What do you think of the whistles against Kessie?

“Kessie is focused and motivated. I haven’t talked to him but we’re all focused on the next games.”

On the Bologna draw…

“We could have made different choices, but some of the games are like that. In the league, an average of 42 balls are played in the opposing area, we played 93.”

Did it occur to you to change the formation in the offensive phase?

“We change a lot from game to game and we will continue to do so depending on the opponents. It will be a question of quality and precision in the last few meters and we will try to do it from tomorrow.”

Is the team more tense towards this season finale?

“I don’t see a worried and anxious team. It’s normal to be in the last 10 minutes of a game but I don’t see a worried team. It’s a privilege to be here, we are here and we have the qualities to do it. Last summer nobody thought we could fight for the Scudetto.”

What did you make of Rebic and Leao together in the game against Bologna?

“It can be a solution against a three-man backline. We have certain characteristics, with Kessie as an attacking midfielder we are more balanced while with Brahim we are more offensive. It depends on the situation.”

What do you think of Bremer and can Giroud put him in difficulty?

“Bremer is one of the strongest defenders in Serie A and Giroud can put him in difficulty because he’s one of the strongest forwards in the league.”

Do you think the teams fighting for the Scudetto should play at the same time?

“I think it would be fair for everyone to play at the same time but playing sooner or later doesn’t make a difference. If you want to win the Scudetto, you have to have a winning mentality but playing at the same time would be the best thing.”

Can Milan win the Scudetto with an average of 2.4 points away from home?

“You have to score a lot of points and win a lot of games and I think the team has the qualities to do it. Tomorrow’s game is the most important and you have to think about that.”

What are Milan missing in the attacking phase?

“If we think too much about the previous match, we don’t prepare well for the next one. The matches are unique: maybe tomorrow we won’t have 30 shots on goal but 3 and score 3 goals. The important thing is to have quality in order to put Torino in difficulty too.”

The game is scheduled for 20:45 CEST tomorrow (Sunday) evening and it will indeed be a very important one for Milan. Claiming all three points could do them a lot of good confidence-wise, although the defence is already flying high.

Tags AC Milan Stefano Pioli Torino
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