press-conference08 January 2022


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

After a victorious start to the year, we now have our first away trip of 2022. On Sunday 9 January at 12:30 CET, AC Milan will take on Venezia on Serie A matchday 21: ahead of the game, Stefano Pioli had to say during the pre-match press conference from Milanello:

"Tomorrow we will need a solid and serious performance, we will have to move a lot and keep our width. Venezia are well drilled, fast and technical. Zanetti is a young coach but he has clear and precise ideas. Caldara? I'm happy that he's finding continuity, he's a good lad and an excellent player".

"This game and the next ones will be difficult, we need to be very careful. We have to think about us, not the others, and then towards the end of the season we will take stock. Every victory gives you more energy. But the championship is like this for everyone, there are obvious problems but we have to adapt. We are happy to have played on Thursday and to play again on Sunday against an opponent who has rested."

"The team has a sense of responsibility and unity, they work with desire and passion: our strength is the group. I've had a good look at the squad, we'll see today and then again tomorrow I'll make the best choices. I'm not going to keep my eye on who's close to a suspension, every game is important and worth three points; but then again, given the period we're in we have to encourage everyone to be ready. Usually when we win we have to run less than our opponents because we hold on to the ball more, but we did well against Roma. The important thing is to maintain the right intensity. dead-ball situations? We're working on them because we know how much they can affect situations on the pitch."

"It is a strange and unpredictable period, we have to respect rules and protocols to be as safe as possible. We suffered so much during the absence of the fans at the stadium, it seemed almost like a habit, now we have enjoyed once more the beauty and importance of their energy and support, let's hope that we don't have to return to playing behind closed doors in order to continue playing".

"Leão is still not 100% but he is getting closer, he still needs minutes. He reminds me of Henry, especially in his movements at the start of his career, he must continue to work with determination and ambition because he can become a great player at European and world level. Tonali's secret is the talent he has but also the mentality he has when he trains and plays. He has grown so exponentially that he is always skilled and aware in both the transitional and defensive phases, he is probably the strongest youngster I have ever coached." 

"Ibrahimovic is always keen to spur himself or his teammates on, with Roma, apart from the missed penalty he was happy to have done his part; if he plays and feels up to it he'll take the next penalty. Bakayoko struggled at the start because his fitness is not 100%, then he had to adapt; he needed time but he's strong, he can do better and help us a lot. Hernández played his best game of the season against Roma, only if you train in a certain way can you play in a certain way and he prepared perfectly for the match. Rebić is a strong striker, he has quality and aggression, he did very well both as an outside player and as a central striker, but apart from his role, the important thing is that he gets back in shape so that he can become that extra weapon in our armoury again."

"Let's wish the team good luck, I heard from Ganz this morning before this important match and hopefully they can start the new year in the best possible way with a win as well as a trophy."

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