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press-conference22 January 2022

PIOLI: "WE'LL NEED AN EXTRAORDINARY PERFORMANCE"

The Coach's thoughts from Milanello ahead of AC Milan v Juventus

At the Milanello headquarters, preparations are being finalised for a huge match at a very important stage of the season: AC Milan v Juventus, which will be played on Sunday 23 January, kicking off at 20:45 CET at San Siro. On the eve of the matchday 23 showdown in Serie A, Coach Pioli held a press conference at 14:15 CET. 

THE TABLE
"It’s clear that we’re in a good position, just like it’s clear that, after a difficult start, Juventus are in excellent form. An average performance won’t be enough; it’ll need to be an extraordinary one. However, we’re capable of producing such a display."

THE DEFEAT TO SPEZIA
"It’s been an intense week on the pitch and in terms of the video analysis we’ve done. We’ve reviewed the situations where we needed to be more precise and determined. I expect the best from the team tomorrow; if we want to achieve excellence, ordinary isn’t enough."

THE MATCH THAT AWAITS
"We’re not at a crossroads and it doesn’t represent a turning point, but tomorrow’s match is an important one because Juventus are showing their strength. They’re behind us in the table, and winning tomorrow would be very important in terms of moving further clear of them."

BACK AVAILABLE
"Three important players are back: Calabria, Romagnoli and Bennacer. All are feeling fine and at my disposal, with the same applying to Zlatan. Tonali is also available; he’s an important player and making great strides forward. He can still improve and is working hard to do so."

THEO AND LEÃO’S WORDS
"The job of a coach is to help develop the players they have at their disposal, especially youngsters, who need to be monitored and guided. My responsibility is to allow them to express themselves as best they can, making them work attentively and enthusiastically. It’s about giving and receiving, and we give our best for the team with the aim of achieving the best possible results in return."

BRAHIM’S CONDITION
"I think his condition dropped before the winter break. Now, he’s looking fresh and lively. While it’s true that he hasn’t always been decisive with the ball, he’s made a crucial impact with his movement off it. His performances are improving, and I’m expecting to see important pieces of play from him."

TRANSFER WINDOW
"Ours is a medium to long-term project and one game isn’t going to change our opinions of our players. If an opportunity arises to improve the squad, we’ll do so; however, right now, there’s nothing new to report. We’re only focused on tomorrow’s game. When it comes to the transfer window, things don’t just depend on us. Tomori’s injury has created a bit of a problem, but he’ll be back soon."

REBIĆ AND LEÃO
"We’re open to all solutions, but, at the moment, either one or the other will play on the left. However, we could find new solutions during matches. Rafa has made strides forward in terms of his willingness to work and improve; he’s strong but could make even more of an impact in deciding matches. Credit for his growth should go to him; improvements are made when there’s the desire and drive to reach higher levels."

THE FIRST GAME
"It was an even affair. We conceded a poor goal that came about from our own set-piece. I expect it to be balanced again tomorrow, with two teams fighting it out for every ball and not giving an inch."


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