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press-conference27 February 2021

PIOLI: "A BATTLE FOR THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE"

The Coach on the eve of Roma v AC Milan: "We are working hard to become a winning team"

The Rossoneri want to get back to winning ways in the league. After going through to the Europa League Round of 16, AC Milan take on Roma in Serie A. On the eve of matchday 24 in the league - Sunday 28 February at 20:45 CET at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, Coach Stefano Pioli gave his press conference at Milanello.

OUR OPPONENTS
"They have a lot of good players in attack, plenty of quality and pace. They're playing well and like to use the full pitch; we'll need to face up to them with tactical flexibility, compactness and focus in every phase of the game. There were fewer teams in the running last season; this season, they're all in the fight. Roma are having a good season; it's a must-win game against a direct rival. These points are worth more and we have a busy three weeks ahead of us. It's time to push and put ourselves to the test."

THE CURRENT SITUATION
"Our path is clear. Kjær's words were a clear reflection of the confidence in what we're doing. We've worked hard to get to this point and are going into this one after progressing in the Europa League, which was huge. We're working to become a winning team. And winners find solutions; they don't think about looking for excuses." 

THE ROSSONERI’S GAME
"We have a fluid system where positions aren’t fixed. When we need to be aggressive, we’ll be exactly this. When this isn’t possible, we’ll have to hold off. We must start playing in the opposition half on a more regular basis again, and we’ll be aiming to do this tomorrow: the more we’re in the opposition half, the greater our chances of scoring and not conceding. We need to be more decisive and stronger in our pressing: this is where all our opportunities come about, and we can be more intense on the pitch. At times, the team can become too stretched, resulting in a lack of players in attack. We’ll be looking to manage the ball better, starting from the back."

BEING QUESTIONED
"This is completely normal. We’ve been praised a lot for the exceptional results we’ve achieved and also rightly criticised: in recent matches, we’ve played below our potential. Nothing will change in the dressing room, we wanted to be protagonists at this stage of the season and that is exactly what we are. The criticism we’ve received must encourage us to give more. At this current point in time, AC Milan are looking ahead to tomorrow. Looking back is useless, we need to look ahead. We’ll assess how we’ve done at the end: we didn’t get too excited when things were going well and won’t get too disheartened by our recent results. Our journey began in January 2020, we have precise qualities and really good players. This is our foundation to create a winning team."

INDIVIDUALS
"Tomori is doing well and has some great characteristics, he’s settled in quickly. Will he start? We’ll see: apart from Mandžukić, Maldini and Bennacer, everyone is available and will be in the matchday squad. We’ll try to make the best choices. Romagnoli? I don’t like talking about individuals in a situation like this. A player not being in top form is something that can happen, he’s played many matches. Ibrahimović demands a lot from himself and his teammates, he’s motivated and in a calm frame of mind. Just like the rest of us, he’s focused on tomorrow’s game. As regards off-the-pitch events, it’s been a topic for you guys and not for us. Rebić is feeling fine, he was less precise than usual in our last fixture and in Belgrade. The important thing is chances fell his way, he’ll return to being decisive and possesses the qualities to be so."


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