AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli has highlighted the importance of having substitutes and praised the impact of Ante Rebic after the Rossoneri’s 2-0 win over Roma.
It was a game bereft of quality and composure for the most part, and it was perhaps fitting that Rebic scored such a scrappy opening goal, thundering home from inside the area after hitting the post initially.
The second goal came inside the final two minutes of normal time from the penalty spot as Theo Hernandez was chopped down chasing a loose ball; Hakan Calhanoglu stepping up to thump the spot kick in and kill the game off.
The result moves Milan seventh in the table and level with Napoli once again, six points behind Roma in fifth.
After the game Pioli spoke to DAZN, and his words were transcribed by MilanNews as he began by discussing the importance of substitutions.
“The substitutions from here to the end will be very important, it is very hot, it is unthinkable to play at an intense pace with the starting eleven,” he said.
“Playing at this time is difficult. All the players have the right attitude. We won the game deservedly because we were a team, even with some mistakes, we had been waiting for a big win for a long time, now we have to recover energy.”
It is Milan’s first win against a side in the current top six this season and only the second time they have picked up points, the other being the 1-1 draw at home against Napoli.
“The results were bad but not the performances, only with Atalanta were we below our possibilities, this victory gives us morale but the next challenge is always the most important.”
On bringing off Rebic just after his goal, Pioli added: “I would have waited a few more minutes but he asked to come off because he couldn’t take it anymore, he always attacked in deep, it was an important focal point. I prefer that the players tell me to if they can’t continue.
“Rebic can certainly improve, he is not only physically strong but he also has technical skills. He has to get used to it, I think he is more of a first or second striker rather than a winger. He has quality, if he keeps this attitude he can absolutely do well.”
On Kjaer: “In another situation he probably would not have played, he is intelligent and has responsibility. It is a signing that has given us an additional contribution. We are a very young team and only with young people is it difficult, Kjaer was definitely helpful.”
On Paquetà: “The players are used to my incitements and my reproaches, Paquetà entered well, he immediately lost a bad ball but then he found himself ready.
“He did a good job, we need everyone. The calendar is difficult , all the races will be fought, we must grit our teeth and have a good finale to the season.”