AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli has labelled the idea that the team would not be able to play as well once crowds returned as ‘nonsense’.
Pioli’s men got all three points this afternoon but they were forced to wait until the 82nd minute to open the scoring as Rafael Leao seized a poor pass and scored, which puts the Rossoneri five points clear while waiting for Inter’s result.
Pioli spoke to Milan TV after the game to reflect on the win with his comments relayed by MilanNews.
“I think that in the first half we could have worked better without the ball, we had prepared some more aggressive outings. The team fought, as always, with great mentality; the most important thing is that, despite the passage of time, they have never been hectic, but I saw them eager and energetic. Now we rest and from Tuesday we prepare for the next game,” he said.
“It only happens to those who believe in it and I have a group that believes in it. The boys can determine the performance and the result. There is satisfaction for this victory. Each extra brick we put in can be heavy.
“Verona? A difficult, tough opponent who will want to beat the leaders because we are still first. We will still need to be at our best.”
A great contribution from the fans…
“Absolutely yes. I don’t read, but I hear when they said that Milan were strong because there were no fans. What nonsense! When we arrive at the stadium, when they cheer us on, they put on a show. All together we are stronger.”
You changed the tactical approach during the game…
“I am fortunate to coach many strong players with different characteristics. I am lucky that they are all well. We have the ability to change games. Then patience is an important quality: we did not fall into a frenzy, we continued to play knowing he had the qualities to win. Maignan was the best on the field, both for the save and for the way he played with his feet: he made some optimal choices.”
Milan today took another step forward…
“It is useless for us to pretend nothing has happened. The more time passes, the more the points weigh. Now we are there and we want to play for it: we are all good, serene and calm, then when you arrive at San Siro you feel a bit of responsibility and energy. The guys are good, they are strong and they are young. They are managing this kind of pressure for the first time and every time we overcome the difficulties we move forward.”
Another 1-0 for Milan: what does this mean?
“If we were able to get the second a little earlier it would be better for everyone’s health. If you win 1-0 it means you never give up. Let’s go ahead and think about the next one.”