On the eve of the clash between AC Milan and Bologna, Stefano Pioli spoke to the media at the usual press conference and answered the questions of the journalists. The manager is optimistic about this season finale.
The Rossoneri are currently three points clear at the top and tomorrow’s clash will be important to at least maintain that distance. 70k fans are expected at San Siro and that means they will have the push needed to get the job done.
Speaking at the presser, as cited by MilanNews, Pioli shared his thoughts on the game and what remains of the season for Milan. He stated that the best is yet to come in his managerial career.
Great energy from the fans. What do you make of it?
“More energy, that’s what we want. The enthusiasm of our fans must give us enthusiasm and the possibility of playing this match at the best of our strength is a positive thing.”
What is your idea of Mihajlovic’s team?
“I’m sorry not to be able to challenge Sinisa on the pitch, but he has shown he can overcome these difficulties. And these are also the characteristics of his team. I saw the video call with his team and with that in mind, it will be a difficult match.”
How are you experiencing this moment?
“I think Tomori is right, we are living the moment with a positive tension and that we must give our best, but with the desire to have fun that allows us to play well.”
Is this the highlight of your career?
“The best is yet to come. Tomorrow we will challenge a great opponent who will have a lot of motivation. Those who worked at Milanello worked well, while those who went to the national team returned well and those who did not go to the World Cup will have the opportunity to redeem themselves. The choices will be technical. Ibra lives with his ailments, but he’s fine.”
What has the group been like…
“They are an attentive, concentrated group: every game is a train that passes in front of you and on which you have to get on to drive it. The next game is always the most important.”
Can the break change the balance?
“I think the difficult matches that every team has to face can do it. We will face teams with great motivation and values. We had no problems during the break, on the contrary: they are all back to full health. We will have to put on a high-level performance.”
How much praise do you deserve for this position in the standings?
“Let’s finish the season and then see where we will be. It’s clear that we don’t want to hold back, facing the last few games with great strength and energy. Then we will sum up. If the work is positive, the credit goes to the whole environment.”
Do you prefer to play after the others or before?
“Nothing changes. We have to stay focused on what we can determine, which is our game. We will go out on the pitch knowing the results of the others, but that doesn’t change our preparation.”
Did you solve your training doubts?
“I have a doubt in midfield, but I’m calm. The players all feel the possibility of playing, then the initial choices will be important but the subs will be just as important.”
Are you watching Juve-Inter tonight?
“Tonight I will look at it for sure, but very detached. It no longer matters what others do.”
Do you expect something more from someone?
“I expect something more from everyone: this is needed to make these last 8 games into a great goal.”
Could there be more room for Rebic in other roles?
“I don’t think he’s an attacking midfielder, Ante can play as a second striker. On the right isn’t an area he likes but he can play there. It’s not important to start or come on, but to be decisive within the team.”
Did Theo’s position with France make you think?
“I also followed the matches of the national team. I’m happy for Olivier. Theo? The national team adopted the 3-man defence after he arrived. When he plays with Leao and Rebic he must be good at finding space.”
What role will Ibra play in this season finale?
“Ibra will have to help the team and give his best as he has always done.”
What are you most afraid of?
“I’m not afraid of anything, I hope that the team will be able to put their qualities on the field. There are moments in which you have to think and others in which to go to a thousand: I hope that the team knows how to interpret the games.”
What Bologna do you expect? More defensive?
“It’s not part of the Mihajlvovic mentality, that’s why I expect an intense and aggressive Bologna, with speed. Match to be faced with great quality.”
Kilpin said “we always need fear”: is this the leitmotif of his Milan?
“The ones who are most afraid of losing are the champions, because this is how you prepare best to win games. I know I have a responsible team that is doing everything to keep our performance at a high level.”
Is mental or tactical preparation the most important at this stage?
“I hope it’s important on both sides. The matches are prepared tactically, we try to take care of all the details that allow you to put in an ever-higher performance.”
How did you see the boys?
“We’ve all been training together since Friday, I saw an attentive and willing team. Usually, when we train like this, the performance comes.”
The game is scheduled for 20:45 CET and despite this far from ideal slot, the fans are behind the team now more than ever. The enthusiasm is through the roof and high attendance levels are expected for the rest of the season.