AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli has challenged his team to ‘show that they are better than Sunday’ ahead of Thursday’s game against SPAL.
The Rossoneri are languishing in 13th place in the Serie A table just three points above the drop zone having lost five out of nine to begin the season.
Pioli is yet to taste victory as the new Milan boss, but the game against SPAL – who sit second bottom – provides a potential launching pad.
A report from La Gazzetta dello Sport on Wednesday claims that the 53-year-old could make four changes to the XI we saw against Roma, including starting Leo Duarte at right-back and benching Lucas Paqueta for Giacomo Bonaventura.
Pioli faced the media ahead of the game on Halloween night, and his comments were transcribed by MilanNews.it.
“We need to be realistic, it is not a good moment, but we have the opportunity to improve the ranking and to show that we are better than we saw on Sunday,” he said.
“From the outside, you get the wrong idea of me, a person who experiences strong emotions, it doesn’t matter if they don’t hug me, just let’s win the game.
“I am a coach who is close to the players, who tries to improve them. There is a big difference between being a good group and becoming a team. We are young and the coach needs to be convincing.
“Right now we don’t have to put the cart before the horse, there is plenty of time to improve the ranking. I want motivated, proud and angry players. With our current ranking everyone has to put in something extra.
“I’m always worried, I have to pay attention to everything, I have to try to motivate the players to put on a higher performance. There is so much time and we want to win again tomorrow.
“We want to put out a fighting team. We can’t be the best team from a tactical and technical point of view, but we must be from the point of view of the spirit.
“I have not seen a scared team, we have not been inferior to our opponents for most of the game. There is so much to do, but we believe everything is possible.”