Pioli confesses to being ‘worried’ about defensive errors and reveals he ‘tried to calm the players’

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli has confessed that he is ‘worried’ about the amount of goals the team have conceded in their last two league games.

Milan suffered their first home league defeat of the season as they were beaten 3-1 by Sassuolo at San Siro on Sunday afternoon. Alessio Romagnoli gave the hosts the lead with a header from a corner, but Gianluca Scamacca levelled and a Simon Kjaer own-goal, gave them the leadwhile Domenico Berardi’s second half goal essentially killed the game.

Things went from bad to worse when Romagnoli saw red for a last-man challenge in the closing stages, putting a final sour note on what was a performance that certainly suggests a hangover from the Champions League win over Atletico Madrid.

Pioli gave his thoughts on the match in his post-match press conference and admitted to being a bit worried about the defensive errors his side are making, with his comments transcribed by MilanNews.

“It definitely hurts, as it did last Sunday. We want to get different results with a different performance than today.”

With Fikayo Tomori out of the line-up, the Rossoneri have conceded seven goals in the last two league games and look a shadow of their usual resilient selves.

“It is true that we suffered too much mentally after their equaliser and it must not happen. We have a way of playing and we have to keep that even in difficulties. After going in front we had to manage the ball better, then after going behind we lost clarity. Seven goals conceded are too many: the team need to defend better.”

There have been some suggestions that Milan might struggle to balance having commitments in the league and in the Champions League that come thick and fast, but Pioli does not believe that to be the case.

“The Champions League has nothing to do with it. We missed too many simple balls, giving courage to a fast, technical team. When I say that seven goals are too many, I’ll say I’m worried.

“We know how we want to play, but we made some mistakes. We will try to make fewer mistakes. We must not leave the game with this nervousness. I tried to calm the players at half-time, but today was not the best day. Too bad, we could have stayed. in the game until the end.

“It’s a slowdown, unexpected. When I talk about lucidity I mean bad choices. At the beginning of the second half we tried with character to resume the game, but we didn’t do it with quality. Only our fans didn’t give up until the end.”

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