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press-conference19 November 2021

PIOLI: "A VERY IMPORTANT MATCH"

The Coach's words on the eve of Fiorentina v AC Milan

Having spent a special part of his career there, Florence is a place that he knows well. Stefano Pioli will be returning to the city as an opponent and aiming to beat his former employers. Fiorentina v AC Milan is on the horizon and, on the eve of the matchday 13 clash in Serie A, which will kick off at 20:45 CET on Saturday 20 November, the current Rossoneri boss held a pre-match press conference from Milanello

FIORENTINA
"I’m always wary of teams that appear to have injury problems. It’s happened to us in the past and we’ve always found the energy and desire to perform. We’re talking about a side with a strong identity, and those who play always know what they need to do. Fiorentina are a strong and tough team to face, they attack with intensity and as a team. In Vlahović, they have a player who has grown a lot. I coached him when he was young, but I could already see his great qualities. Now, he’s really strong. Italiano is an excellent coach; he’s young, has clear ideas and is already doing a really good job. Fiorentina are enjoying a good league season and are improving a lot."

THE TEAM’S CONDITION
"The team are feeling fine. I’m really disappointed about Calabria’s injury, it’s something we didn’t need given the run of games that awaits. Unfortunately, Rebić felt a twinge in today’s training match and won’t be in the squad as a result. Leão has recharged his batteries and is ready to contribute, he did well. We need to approach the games we have coming up in the right way, starting from tomorrow evening. It’s a very important match, we know what we’ll be up against and the team is focused on giving their all."

INTERNATIONAL BREAK
"We tried to manage it as best we could. With the exception of Calabria, those who were on international duty have returned in good condition. I continue to think that my players are consummate professionals, and yesterday, in the first session we had together as a group, I saw concentration and commitment. In spite of the games they’d had, they’re already looking ahead to what awaits us."

HOME AND AWAY
"Last year, we were told that certain results had been achieved due to fans not being present. Now, we’re building on what we did. There has been a change and improvement in terms of awareness: a player with more conviction is one who performs better. Tomorrow, we’ll take to the pitch to win against a side that will cause us problems."

PIOLI’S EXPERIENCE IN FLORENCE
"I was a younger coach with less experience, but I had a great time at Fiorentina as both a player and coach. It’ll never be a normal match for me because of the long time I spent there and also because of the memory of Davide Astori, who feels even closer when I’m in Florence."

INDIVIDUALS
"I’ve been happy with what I’ve seen from Franck. His Derby performance was judged on a single incident where he could have done better, but it wasn’t so decisive. He’s returned from his national team in good shape and is available. Out of Giroud and Ibra, the player who is in better physical condition will play. Florenzi is an intelligent and important player and is close to reaching optimum condition. He’s still to get some minutes under his belt. Messias is doing better, and I’m happy about his return to the team. He’s a bit behind compared to Alessandro, but he’s getting back into shape and will lend us a hand."

CONTRACT RENEWAL
"I don’t think it’s the right time to talk about my contract. You’ll be informed when there are new developments. I’m not in any hurry, there’s no problem and now we’re fully focused on tomorrow’s game."


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