AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli believes that there is ‘no need for a spark’ for his side ahead of a game against a ‘very strong’ Tottenham team.
Milan welcome a Spurs side who followed up a 1-0 victory over Manchester City with a 4-1 defeat at Leicester City over the weekend, and one that has a deep injury crisis given that Hugo Lloris, Ryan Sessegnon, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Yves Bissouma and Rodrigo Bentancur will all miss the game.
The Rossoneri have not had a good start to 2023 with the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana having vanished as objectives and the Scudetto now virtually out of reach, meaning only the Champions League remains.
Pioli spoke to SportMediaset on the eve of the game against Spurs and just after his press conference to give his thoughts on an enthralling challenge, with his comments relayed by MilanNews.
“There’s no need for a spark. The Champions League is what we wanted, with a well-played group stage going through and now we’re playing for the quarter-finals with great determination, with great spirit and with a great desire to do well,” he began.
On Bennacer: “He’s not 100% yet, so you can’t risk a player suffering from a little muscle problem. The team are fine and ready””
On Tottenham: “They are a very strong team, they beat Manchester City a week ago. Afterwards they had a setback, as can happen after a great match and before the Champions League. We know that Tottenham are a very strong team, coached by a very experienced coach who knows us well, so we prepared ourselves to put on the best possible performance. The Champions League requires high levels.”
On the team and the new formation: “Having a proactive team, who want to try to attack when there are the right opportunities to do so, who want to try to be compact but who want to try to play the game. We’re interested in positions in field, we take them to try to put the opponents in difficulty and to try to have as many solutions as possible.”
On what needs to be worked on: “The team has been very helpful, we’ve already interpreted him a few times with some changes underway. Even in the defensive phase, for example against Salzburg, we defended with a line of three, but the team are fine, the team wants to do and these are not the important things.
“The important thing will be to put determination on the field. There are three characteristics that you cannot be without in the Champions League: the pace of play, the quality of the choices and the technical quality, and we will try to be at our best.”
On where Milan are compared to the games against Cheslea: “I think we have to demonstrate that we have learned from these games, from these lessons. I think we have grown in knowledge, grown in personality and tomorrow we will need a great personality because we face a strong opponent.”
On Giroud and the team: “I fully trust all my players. All my players must think they can be decisive in such an important match, so beautiful to play and let’s not forget, however, that it will be a match played over 180 minutes. Clearly starting well tomorrow night would be very important.”
On the quarter-finals: “We will do everything to reach them.”
“I fully trust all my players”
I would have hoped Bennacer be at least on the bench. Even if hes not fully fit hes better than the rest
Milan should use 4-2-3-1 like leao and rebic and geroud should start