For matchday 30 of Serie A TIM, AC Milan travel to Stadio Tardini to take on Parma. A difficult fixture, delicately balanced, with points meaning so much to both sides. There can be no more margin for error. On the eve of the match that takes place in his home city, Coach Stefano Pioli held a press conference from Milanello. His words were broadcast live on the AC Milan Official App and Milan TV.
ALL SET FOR PARMA
“Only tomorrow's match counts. I don't like thinking that there are nine games left to go. Tomorrow's match is the priority, to be faced in the best possible way, aware of our ability and our quality. Parma are doing well, they’re a physical side, they're fast and full of quality: the Italian league is stimulating because there are so many different teams. We are ready for anything. We must not make the same mistakes as last Saturday, for example by not going deep. We must be able to read the spaces well and be fast, both with the ball and without it”.
AWARENESS AND DESIRE
“One of the things I appreciate most about my team is their awareness of their own qualities and their desire to do well, the concentration they have in wanting to achieve important goals for the club and for the fans. When our performances are not up to par, we are disappointed, but we understand the mistakes we made against Sampdoria, mistakes that are not to be repeated”.
BELIEF AND MENTALITY
“We can't keep looking back on missed opportunities: if we maintain our current average points per game we will end the season on around 80 points, an amount that would allow us to achieve our goal. Pressure? We created it for ourselves, a year ago we were aiming for a place in the Europa League, and today we're aiming for a place in the Champions League. We have overcome various obstacles thanks to our mental strength, which we must bring with us on the pitch tomorrow, with the personality and desire to play well from start to finish. When you go ahead you gain more conviction, confidence, and strength; we need quality and tempo, when we don't succeed in this we get into difficulty”.
“I don't think Calabria will be out for long, he might return to full training next week. If yesterday's situations are confirmed today, only he, Romagnoli, and Maldini will be unavailable. The others are all fine and are available for selection. Having everyone available again allows you to enhance the level of training, and to make important changes between matches. I hope to have everyone available for the next few matches”.
“Mandžukić has been unlucky but he is a great man and a great professional, he's not at his best yet but he can give us a lot in these outings. Hauge plays his best football on the left, he has always played in that role and I don't want to put players in less-than-ideal situations so they can perform at their best. Saelemaekers can play on the right in addition to Castillejo, and Díaz can also play there. Hernández put in an excellent performance in Florence, on Saturday he ran into some difficulty but that can happen; this week he has done very well”.
IMPORTANCE OF IDENTITY
“I believe that each team has its own identity. For me, the most important thing is to play a style of football suited to the characteristics, ideas, and qualities of the players available. We try to play well to achieve victory, which is the main thing. Everyone gets there as they see fit, we want to get there with our resources and our qualities, I know that my players feel comfortable in our style of play. The championship ends on May 23rd. We are aware of what we are doing and of the important goal that we want to achieve, a goal that can only be achieved through extraordinary effort. We have no fears, we have no anxieties or worries. I only see desire: a desire to play well, desire for AC Milan, desire to reach our goal”.
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