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press-conference22 October 2021

PIOLI: "A TOUGH GAME AWAITS US"

The coach has spoken to the press ahead of the trip to Bologna

The defeat to Porto is already behind us and now it's time to switch focus back to the league. AC Milan are back in action in Serie A as they travel to Bologna for a meeting with an old friend in Siniša Mihajlović. Kick-off is at 20:45 CEST and, today, Stefano Pioli gave his pre-match press conference. The conference was broadcast live on our YouTube channel and on Milan TV.

CURRENT FORM
"We're not in trouble; it's just something that can happen in a busy season. The team will be competitive tomorrow and the lads will be ready to put in a great performance. Bologna are very adept at sitting back and hitting you on the break; they're a tough team to face. We were mediocre all over the pitch against Porto. By working hard on the field, we've been able to work on a few things that weren't working and that we'll try to implement tomorrow evening. We mustn't think about taking focus away from Europe. It's always better to aim for the impossible than to not try at all. We'll try to perform at our best in every competition. But we'll think about the Champions League in two weeks; for now, our focus is on the league."

TOMORROW'S GAME
"Three years later and it's still the same two coaches; this means that something is going right on both sides but we're in a time where things have changed a lot. Bologna have gone with a different system in recent weeks; they are a really focused team with a lot of individual quality. We've had 48 hours to analyse the performance in Porto and we've been able to work really hard ahead of tomorrow's match. It'll be a tough game against an in-form team. I expect AC Milan to produce the level of football that we all know they can." 

INDIVIDUALS
"Ibra needs to train and play; he has a week of full training behind him. He'll get more minutes tomorrow but I still need to decide whether it's him or Giroud that starts. With respect to the game against Porto, we only have Conti and Castillejo back fit. Kessie and Rebić won't be available, nor will Pellegri who's suffered a slight inflammation. The players, who are available, are all doing well; we'll take stock of what kind of match it might be and we'll make our selections on that basis. Calabria is an intelligent player; he could also play on the left but I'll keep him on the right if I can."

100 MATCHES IN CHARGE
"I'm just focused on tomorrow's game; I didn't realise that it was my 100th game in charge of AC Milan. It's great to be here. I get on well with everyone. We just need to think about the present though. My best moment? My first game at San Siro gave me a lot of strong emotions, even if we didn't get the win. I like to think about the records that are yet to be broken."

 HOW TO GROW
"There's a lot of chatter about the standings and the Champions League but we have a lot of matches still to play and we just need to focus on winning in Bologna. The season is long and we need to take every chance to make improvements. Consistency has to be a strength. The lads have always done well to learn from their mistakes. We'll have the chance to show that tomorrow. We'll need to focus and be convinced in our own ability."      


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