AC Milan midfielder Tommaso Pobega believes that the climate and the facilities in Dubai are helping the squad prepare for the second part of the season.
The team made their way out to the United Arab Emirates over the weekend and began a warm weather winter training camp to try and get back into top condition ahead of the resumption of the Serie A season on January 4 against Salernitana.
The first of two friendlies that Pioli’s team will play took place yesterday as a rather cobbled together Rossoneri side lost 2-1 against Arsenal, and as part of that Pobega was deployed in the unfamiliar role of left-back given Theo Hernandez and Fode Ballo-Toure’s unavailability.
Pobega spoke to the microphones of Milan TV directly from the training camp, starting with a reflection on yesterday’s game and performance, with his comments relayed by MilanNews.
On the match: “It was nice to get back to playing, having gone on the field after not having been there for a while. It was a game in which condition and rhythm needed to be regained. We are not at 100% but in my opinion we had positive signs both physically, in terms of interpretation and tactics.”
On the role of full-back: “The coach asked me a few days ago at Milanello if I was available to play full-back and I obviously agreed. There are some dynamics and movements that haven’t been tested, but it’s a position that I give my all if needed and I try to interpret it as best I can.”
On Theo and Giroud: “We certainly followed Theo and Giroud at the World Cup and we wished them, like the others, the best possible and that they would go all the way. A great match will be played today, but I’m sure they will be able to put in the same performances they did in the previous games. We hope they return home with the cup happy and are ready to start again with us as strong as possible.”
On the retreat in Dubai: “It’s the first time I’ve been in Dubai. We haven’t seen much of the place yet because between training and the match, but the organization is certainly top notch and the climate helps. Twenty-five degrees is better than zero in Milan. Let’s try to better prepare for the next match [against Liverpool] and finish on a positive note”
On preparation: “The preparation process is going well. Slowly we are also getting team-mates back who went to the World Cup and so we find rhythm all together and also that group which must be increasingly solid for the resumption of the season and for all the commitments that await us.”