Pioli reflects on Cagliari win, clears up Kjaer worries and discusses ‘ambitious’ Mandzukic signing

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli stressed the importance of taking each game at a time, and stated that Mario Mandzukic’s signing is a statement of ambition.

The Rossoneri restored their lead atop the Serie A table to three points with a 2-0 win over Cagliari in Sardinia on Monday night.

Perhaps as we should have expected it was Zlatan Ibrahimovic who had the decisive say in the game as he scored either side of the interval to ensure that Milan will be top at the half way point of the season.

It meant that the Diavolo responded perfectly to Inter’s win over Juventus last night, restoring the lead at the top back to three points.

Pioli was interviewed by Sky Italia after the game and began by reflecting on another important victory.

“We think about giving our best every game, this is the season. I always ask my players for attention, we must all be ready, we were. We did a test of strength, we won deservedly,” he said (via MilanNews).

“I say thank you to the fans for their support, the team will do everything to give their best, we must continue to think that every match will be the most important. On Saturday we will have a very important match against Atalanta, then in April we will see the ranking.”

It seems as though Mario Mandzukic will be the next signing of January after Soualiho Meite’s arrival on Friday night, and Pioli essentially confirmed it.

“Ibra said he’ll take care of keeping him at bay. I’m happy, the club is ambitious, they want Milan to get back on top, Mandzukic’s arrival goes into this situation. Given the many commitments and critical issues of this season, we need many players. I also tell them that it is not the quantity of minutes but the quality.”

On Mandzukic and Ibra together: “The principles of the game count, we found a balance, we always play with two forwards, one central and one on the left. With Mario I haven’t talked about tactics yet. We need many players, there are a lot of match.

“It is inevitable that there will be changes, turnover. We need to take no risks. We pulled the neck of several players from September to December and we lost several through injury. I’m happy with the choices of the club, it’s ready to do it again if the opportunity arises.”

On Kalulu: “I’m very happy and satisfied, he plays with personality and strength, he’s another player who can give us satisfaction.”

Pioli made a change at the break as Kjaer made way for Pierre Kalulu, with several journalists reporting that the Dane was suffering from lower back pain.

“He wasn’t hurt, he has this annoyance that limits him a bit, better not risk other headaches. The more quality players we are, the more we will be able to field competitive teams,” Pioli said.

On the Scudetto: “Seven teams are very strong, all of them will fight to the end to win the Scudetto and get to the Champions League. We will fight to get into the top four, it’s a path that must give us confidence. Tonight we won by fighting, then quality is there.”

READ MORE: Ibrahimovic nets another brace as Rossoneri respond perfectly to Inter

Tags AC Milan Stefano Pioli

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