Pioli analyses Milan’s defensive issues: “We talk too much about team spirit”

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan face a watershed moment in their season tomorrow as they face Inter in the Coppa Italia, and Stefano Pioli believes his side are ready.

Milan go into the game in somewhat of a difficult moment having not won in their last three games, which includes throwing away a 2-0 lead against Roma to draw 2-2 at home and a Coppa Italia exit a few days later against a Torino side who played over 50 minutes with ten men.

That makes the Supercoppa Italiana clash against Inter a particularly delicate one as Simone Inzaghi’s side have also had their troubles, so it could provide a launching pad for the winning side to believe in what they are doing, while also obviously resulting in a trophy.

Pioli was interviewed by SportMediaset on the eve of the game against the city rivals, with his comments relayed by MilanNews and translated below.

On the Supercoppa: “We’re playing for an important trophy, we’ll play for it as best we can. Winning would mean giving continuity to our journey that began three years ago. Milan haven’t participated in matches like this for several years. The journey is positive, but the finals are played to win.”

On the first half in Lecce: “I have to try to solve the problems. But that’s another story, we’re only focused on the Supercoppa. We’re here with merit for having deservedly won the Scudetto and we’ll play this match with the right energy to bring home a win.”

On the current moment: “There’s no need to push the lads. We have a great desire to play and we’ll do everything to win. We’ve won the last two league derbies and we want to keep winning.”

On the derby being a one-off match: “The derbies are always games in themselves, when you enter the field even in the league you don’t think about the standings. The victories in the recent derbies have also come through some difficulties that we have faced and overcome as a team.”

On how the team is doing: “Do I see them as determined and eager to leave their mark? It would be a pity if it weren’t like this…”

On the attack: “We find important players again. We are scoring continuously, we must always try to raise the level of our game.”

On tomorrow’s match: “The key will be to be a compact and clear team in our choices. The more clear we are, the better we will interpret all situations.”

On the defensive phase: “We talk too much about team spirit. There is only one quality at the base: the level of play, both in possession and not. The more qualitative we are in these game situations, the more we will have the chance to win the match.”

On Leao: “It’s not an individual that wins games, but the team.”

On Cardinale: “He is following us, he has sent us good luck through CEO Furlani. Our goal is to win this trophy.”

Tags AC Milan Stefano Pioli
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