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press-conference06 November 2021

PIOLI: "A DERBY WHERE WE MUST BE FOCUSED AND DETERMINED"

The Coach speaks ahead of the Derby against Inter

Adrenaline abounds at Milanello. We're a day away from the Derby and Stefano Pioli held his pre-match press conference this afternoon. There were plenty of talking points ahead of the big showdown on Serie A matchday 12, which takes place on Sunday evening at San Siro. The Coach's words were broadcast live on Milan TV, YouTube Membership and Twitch.

HOW THINGS ARE GOING
"We’ve recovered well after a very busy period. The team are in great shape, both mentally and physically, and we've prepared well for tomorrow’s game. We prepare for every match with three points in mind. We know that Inter are a good side, but that does not affect our objective. This match comes at a key moment in our campaign and is of course very important for everyone involved with AC Milan, but, that said, it’s still only a match that can give us three more points in the standings, and we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves."

THE OPPOSITION
"Inter won the league last season by some margin, they will probably reach the knockout stages in the Champions League and they know how to keep winning. They are a solid, compact team with a combination of technical and physical strengths. They have players who can have an impact at any time in the game. The match pits the two teams who have scored the most goals against each other, and yet I think it’ll be the team that puts on the best defensive display who will have the best chance of winning it. Along with Napoli, we’ve made an extraordinary start to the campaign, but the league table is irrelevant in this game. They do have weaknesses and we’ll try to exploit these tomorrow."

FITNESS AND SELECTION UPDATES
"Ballo-Touré, Florenzi and Rebić are all back, they’re doing well and will be available for selection. Messias is the only one who will be out until after the break. I’ve already picked my team: the players know who will start, and you’ll find out tomorrow."

INDIVIDUALS
"Ibrahimović is a phenomenon and continues to show this in everything he does. He’s doing well, is in good condition and coming off an excellent performance against Roma. Just like his teammates, he’s motivated to give everything tomorrow evening. Brozović is very important for Inter in terms of their build-up play; we’ll need to pay close attention to him if we want to disrupt their moves. Which Inter player would I have in my team? None of them; I’m banking on my players."

THE GROWTH OF THE GROUP
"Almost all of our players are now internationals, which is a sign that a strong team is growing. Our lads are making great strides forward, and I’m convinced we can still improve and will show this in the future."

NEW STADIUM
"Yesterday, I saw the film about the new Bernabeu. It looks wonderful and incredible, and it’s packed with technology. There’s also an environment that allows fans to be welcomed in the best way possible. I’m proud to be part of a club that has these innovative ideas that can make the whole of Italian football grow. San Siro represents history, while the new stadium will be the future."

AMBITIONS AND THE FUTURE
"We’ve earned the right to be brave. We’ll be taking to the pitch after ten wins and a draw and need to play on the front foot. Our journey has been going on for almost two years, and we’ve laid important foundations that won’t collapse. From this point, we need to carry on moving forward step by step. We want to be successful again in both Italy and Europe and need to believe in our qualities and the way we interpret matches, even if we’ll encounter difficulties. We believe in what we’re doing and know that we have to display all of our energy out on the pitch."

DERBY EXPERIENCE
"You prepare for a Derby as much tactically as you do emotionally. We’ll have a plan for both phases of the game, but our character could make more of a difference than what we do tactically. There are no favourites in these games; the table isn’t important. It’s a very important game that is keenly felt, and we want to do well. The match will start with eleven players on each side and the score at 0-0. We’ll need to play with great focus and quality and want to give it a go from the beginning until the end, trying not to sit back but being aggressive instead. Compared to the last time we faced them, a lot has changed, both for us and for them. Matches like these are difficult to predict and it’s hard to make comparisons: we’re in another season now and the situation is different. We’ll try to implement our strategy and be very attentive in doing so."


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