AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli has insisted he is paying no attention to rumours regarding his future on the eve on an important game against Torino.
The Rossoneri have had a change in fortunes since Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s arrival at the start of the year, playing better football and having lost only once.
However, in their last two fixtures – a 4-2 defeat to Inter followed by a 1-1 draw with Juventus in the Coppa Italia – the general consensus is that the team deserved more on the night.
Nonetheless, the Milan boss is happy with the progress that his side is making ahead of the arrival of Torino to the San Siro on Monday night.
Pioli spoke to the media ahead of Milan’s game against the Granata, and his words were transcribed by MilanNews.it.
“We must strengthen the positive feelings and bring back the same spirit of the last few races,” he began.
On the change of formation, he added: “All game systems are good if the characteristics of the players are suitable for that system.
“We have the characteristics to play with this formation, we see that the team feels these positions, is very balanced and compact, as well as being very dangerous and shooting on goal more than the opponents.”
On Torino: “An opponent difficult to overcome for the team’s values, they have important technical and physical values, they will have great determination to overturn their position, it will be a difficult and hard-fought game like that in the Italian Cup where we won suffering. The important thing is to know how approach the race and how to have positions on the pitch.”
There has been speculation over the past week that Milan are already thinking about Pioli’s replacement for next season, with Marcelino, Andriy Shevchenko and Max Allegri among the names linked.
“I know very well what my role is and how we have been very good at not getting carried away by rumours, we have to do this until the end,” Pioli said.
“We are in a great club, it is normal for there to be voices, we must be very focused on our work, there is a lot of season to do well, 45 points are available.
“I am not worried about my future and I am not even thinking about it, I want to try together with the team to exploit this situation.”
Maldini also spoke out before the Juve game and defended the work of Pioli while dismissing the chance of hiring Ralf Rangnick.
“I have always felt the support of the club, it’s nice, I also know what my role is, there is always something to prove. Having the trust of those close to me is very important, but it will be the work added to the results that will determine the future situations.”
Where would Milan be with Pioli on the bench since the summer with Ibrahimovic?
“Nice question, but it’s impossible to answer. Ibra never speaks at random, he said he trusted me when he arrived, he said he is fine.”
On Castillejo’s upturn in form: “My job is to try to make the most of the players’ condition, he had a good start but then he had an injury.
“The change of the game system was the arrival of Ibra who made me think of new positions. Samu has the right characteristics, he is doing well with great intensity and the right quality.”
The game against the Bianconeri on Thursday has been the centre of a VAR storm since due to the awarding of a late penalty to the away side for an adjudged handball on Davide Calabria. Pioli is not a fan of the system.
“I don’t agree, I don’t like it, the coach is the coach, the referee is the referee. The help of technology must allow the referee to referee with more calmness, I haven’t seen this in the last few situations.”