Pioli reveals he has seen ‘fewer smiles’ in the squad but not ‘resignation’ or ‘low morale’

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli has stressed the importance of his side returning to play the way they know how after a ‘difficult and demanding week’.

Milan will be looking to qualify for the last 16 of the Europa League for the first time in three years when they face Red Star in the second leg on Thursday, and you can read our match preview here.

The Rossoneri will be looking to put a difficult patch of recent form behind them – one which has seen them lose their last two Serie A games without scoring – and capitalise on having scored two away goals in Belgrade.

Pioli was interviewed by Sky Italia on the eve of the game against Red Star at San Siro, with his comments transcribed by MilanNews.

“The feeling is that of returning to play at our levels. We come from a particularly difficult and demanding week, especially in the two league games in which we managed to play according to our ideas and our qualities,” he said.

“Failing to do so hurt us, but at the same time we are aware of the mistakes we made. Let’s try to learn from these two lessons and then go back to putting on performance at the height of our qualities.

“It is clear that you can fall, it is not a failure to fall in these games. Failure would be to stay still at the point of fall, instead we must start again, resume our convictions and certainties and try to play with more rhythm, more intensity and more quality starting from tomorrow’s game.

“We are a young team but we are a mature, aware team. Having seen fewer smiles these days is right and normal, it must be like this. I have not seen resignation, players with low morale. It is a compact group that knows of having spent a difficult week but he knows that we can start again from tomorrow. We lost as a team, not because of a single player. We don’t look for the culprits but we look for situations where we can improve and where we made mistakes.”

Tags AC Milan Milan Red Star Stefano Pioli