Pioli previews ‘complicated’ Samp clash and discusses how many points Milan need

By Isak Möller -

On the eve of the clash between Milan and Sampdoria at San Siro, Stefano Pioli spoke to the media at the usual press conference. After the win against Fiorentina, they want to continue on that path. 

The Rossoneri have had some rest during the international break, although many players were called up to their respective national teams. Tomorrow’s game has thus been long-awaited as nothing beats club football.

Stefano Pioli spoke to the media at the usual press conference (via MilanNews) just a few minutes ago, following the final training session at Milanello this morning. He shared his thoughts on the season finale and also gave an update on the physical conditions.

Do responsibilities increase at this stage?

“We have always taken responsibility with great conviction and trust. There comes a decisive moment, all we have done so far is to be here right now. All the game will be difficult and we have to give our best, we want to get to the end of the season without regrets, playing for Milan.”

How are the players after these two weeks?

“If I could, I would have given everyone holidays, we needed this break. The five players that remained are fine, those who returned from the national team are back in good condition, except for Brahim Diaz who has problems and we will evaluate him tonight.”

How to approach the challenge of tomorrow?

“We totally believe in what we do. Serenity, trust is our way of working. Ten games are a lot, the race will be very hard, we have to think about tomorrow’s match. It’s important, difficult, against a team motivated and trained by a great coach, I respect him because he was the coach who gave me the most in my coaching career.”

How do you view the players who haven’t renewed yet?

“I see the serenity in the eyes of Zlatan, Calha, Gigio. Their future is now, it would change a lot whether we qualify for Champions League or not, I see a lot of concentration and attention.”

How many points are missing for the Champions League?

“We still need to claim many points. 75 could be the right threshold, but it’s difficult to calculate. There are still many direct clashes.”

How do you explain the difference between home and away?

“Our home numbers are significantly lower than our away numbers. This is why it becomes important to return to winning in our stadium.”

Is a team emerging without the injuries?

“Tomorrow we won’t have Romagnoli, Calabria, Mandukic, Leao, Maldini and possibly even Diaz. We are still far from what I would like. We don’t want to have any regrets and we believe that ten matches must be played with great conviction.”

How is Ibra?

“Ibra is fine. He’s happy to be back in the national team and he’s available. He did two high-level training sessions, he arrived in very good condition. Everything is fine.”

Tomorrow Bennacer and Kessie are back together …

“We must have rhythm in the game, try to be compact when the opponents are in the possession and move a lot with the ball. Isma, reading the spaces and finding vertical plays, is an important player for us.”

What happened to Hauge?

“He had a physical tarnish but it’s psychological. He arrived when the season in Norway was about to end and he was better than the others. In these two days, I have seen him in good condition.”

Would you take part in the fundraiser for Tomori?

“We are very satisfied with how he has entered, he’s a handsome smiling boy, he gives us important characteristics. We must continue to do well, without thinking about the future. We have to think about tomorrow’s race, it will be complicated, the stops take away some preparation. Let’s focus on this race and then we’ll think about the future.”

Is the physical condition what you hoped it would be in this finale?

“The team is doing well, they arrive at the right time with the right condition. The performance vs. Fiorentina was very important in terms of character, against a good opponent. We tried to play the game and get it back. We have to make a strong performance and above all, from a mental point of view.”

The team is talking about the Scudetto…

“The team must think like this, God forbid you think negatively. Then we know very well that we have to turn the hopes into convincing performances, winning is difficult, but the team must go out on the pitch with confidence and awareness.”

The game is scheduled for 12:30 CEST tomorrow and as mentioned, it’s important for Milan to grab yet another win and also improve their record at home. With a strong XI available, hopefully they can secure the three points.

What does management say about renewals?

“I have daily contacts with the management, we are focused on tomorrow’s game and on the next ones, we will think about the future later.”

What can make a difference tomorrow?

“In matches, quality make the difference and motivations. We will be motivated and so will they. They change their formation often, with excellent players and an excellent coach. A complicated match awaits us.”

How to counteract the speed of Sampdoria?

“Sampdoria plays a lot of vertical balls. We have to read the situations carefully during the match, there will be spaces and we will have to exploit them.”

In Florence, Milan won for the first time when recovering from a deficit…

“It was an important performance, the confirmation of the growth of this team, it’s normal to have difficulties but you have to continue to believe in it, this allows you to win by having important qualities.”

Do you like the name “Milan of the surprising”?

“I think it can be correct, but every speech must be re-evaluated on May 23, at the end of the season. To date, I think Milan are one of the surprises of the season. We postpone the judgments to the end of the season, hoping to have the best possible.”

READ MORE: Milan eager to improve at home as difference compared to away games is staggering

Tags AC Milan Serie A Stefano Pioli
Serie A Standings

Live football scores . Current table, fixtures & results.