Pioli: “We must not regret who will be absent, but concentrate on our qualities”

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli has stressed the importance of keeping the same mentality in side’s preparation for their Coppa Italia semi-final second leg.

The Rossoneri travel to Turin to face Juventus with it all to do after Cristiano Ronaldo’s late equaliser in the first leg at San Siro. It means that Milan know they must score at least once.

Pioli will be without Theo Hernandez, Samu Castillejo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic due to suspension, while it has been confirmed that Gianluigi Donnarumma will not be risked as he continues to recover from the ankle injury he sustained against Fiorentina.

The Rossoneri coach spoke to Milan TV on the eve of the match against Juventus, beginning by reflecting on the first leg.

“The first leg is a result that gives our opponents a small advantage, but it was a performance where we showed that we can play it on equal terms,” he said (via MilanLive).

“We must absolutely prepare for this race with the same mentality, having the belief of having quality and the means to put the opponent in difficulty and reach the final.”

Pioli also commented on the improvement in performances since the start of the calendar year.

“I think it was not only in the Italian Cup: with the new year we have put in place top-level performances, which have certainly seen us competitive even with the strongest teams in the championship.

“We must take the field with these certainties and convictions, knowing that we are starting with an unfavourable result but that we have the possibility to try to overturn it.”

On the selection issues, he added: “We must not regret who will be absent, but concentrate on our qualities, always trying to be a team.

“Those who will play will certainly have different characteristics than those who will miss out, but they will be able to give their contribution and I am sure they will: the boys are happy, they are convinced they can do it.

“The Italian Cup is a very important goal: it is a competition that guarantees you a place in Europe, it is an important trophy. Just see who the four semi-finalists are, all the most important teams in the league.

“Trying to play well without Ibra? It must be a great stimulus, certainly. We are all convinced that Zlatan has given us a huge contribution: there will be different characteristics, but they will also be right to put our opponents in difficulty.

“It will take a game of determination and conviction, as well as of confidence, during the games there are many possibilities to hit the opponents and we must prepare to succeed.”

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