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press-conference16 January 2022

PIOLI: "WE'LL NEED TO PLAY AS A TEAM"

The coach's words on the eve of AC Milan v Spezia

The Rossoneri's season goes on, and next up is a fixture that offers the chance to build more momentum and continue this rich vein of form. AC Milan v Spezia is one of the postponed matches from matchday 22 of Serie A, a match (kicking-off tomorrow at 18:30) that Coach Stefano Pioli talked about in a press conference from Milanello today from 14:00. 

APPROACH TO THE GAME
"We must play as a team, with the right set up, because this will be a difficult game, against a team that have won their last two away games without conceding. We will have to have a solid game plan and clear strategy, we have prepared ourselves well to play from the first to the very last minute. We have always proved to be an intelligent group that always assumes responsibility, our preparation for this game has been far from ideal with our last match against Genoa but we know how necessary it will be to step onto the pitch to play Spezia with the right attitude."

TRANSFER WINDOW
"The strategy is one that we share; we don’t want to cause unnecessary difficulties for ourselves. We want someone who can take the game by the scruff of the neck, improving the team and the quality on the pitch. There are many players that can help us do this: Kalulu and Gabbia are proving to be ready and reliable to play these important games, if they can seize the opportunity then the team will be ready."

THE ROSSONERI WINGS
"On our left-wing, with Theo, Rafa and Ante, we are very strong but now our opponents know us better. Theo is quickly becoming a more rounded player, taking the coaches advice on board. There are many possibilities that we can move forward with, all of them are rapidly growing but they can still do better. Also, on the right-hand side, we are doing very well with our full-backs, as well as how we use Saelemaekers and Messias. Florenzi recently suffered an injury but at the beginning, he was used in a more advanced position but the full-back is a role that we know he plays well. He is very intelligent, flexible, match aware and useful in all phases of the game."

REBIĆ’S FITNESS
"Ante has had some quite significant problems, he has been out of action for two months and needs some time to find his best form again, especially for one of his characteristics, which will make him stronger. It won’t be too long but in any case, he must remain patient."

THE STATE OF THE SAN SIRO PITCH
"Pitches at this time of were aren't always at the best standard but it is equally true that we use this surface regularly. I do not think, however, that you can attribute Tomori’s injury to the playing surface, the pitch will certainly improve after the break, and we hope to find a smoother pitch on which the ball can run quicker."

TOMORI’S INJURY
"If it were up to Fik, he would play tomorrow, but the important thing is that everything went to plan and it’s nothing too serious, as this is the first time he has had such an injury. For now, I think it would be premature to say whether he will be back in three or four weeks."

INDIVIDUALS
"Pellegri is working hard towards a return and his situation is certainly improving; we will hopefully have him back after the break. He has quality but hasn't played consistently enough in recent months to be able to assess him. AC Milan can manage without any one player because they are not solely dependent on any individual. Brahim started very well and is now proving himself well. The hierarchies depend on the players, as we all have to keep our standards high. We have Calabria and Castillejo back to add to the squad compared to the previous games, but we will be without Tonali (suspension) and Tomori (injury)."

ABSENCES
"I am very confident in those who will take to the field. It is clear that we may encounter difficulties in certain positions but we will be ready both mentally and physically, we know our qualities and we will play with conviction and confidence."

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