press-conference04 February 2022

PIOLI: "WE KNOW THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS GAME"

The Coach is at Milanello to present the Derby

The Derby is fast approached at the team is in the process of the final fine-tuning at Milanello. On the eve of the big clash, Stefano Pioli gave his usual press conference ahead of the upcoming clash with Simone Inzaghi's men. 

DERBY DECISIONS
"You always need to be aware of the characteristics and traits of your opponents, without that impacting too much on the way we play our game - it will be the same tomorrow. We'll need to move well and at speed."

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE FIXTURE
"We're fighting for a good finish. We're back to competing for the top four now. We were well organised and intense against Juventus but we just lacked a little bit of quality, which we will need to find tomorrow. We've prepared well; the team knows how much this game means and we want to win it. A victory would give us a lot of confidence, strength and three big points."

PIOLI'S WEEK
"There's no such thing as a good or bad week in the run-up to a game. We have worked really hard with great care and we have had enough time, in which to do that. We don't have any secrets; we've looked at the condition of the individual players. The team has trained well."   

INJURIES
"Zlatan and Ante are unavailable. Tomori has worked hard and will be in the squad, but I don't think he'll start. Ibra's absence is a shame but we have shown that we can do well without him. Ante picked up a knock to his ankle at the end of last week and he hasn't recovered yet. We hope he is back soon because he can be decisive for us. Fik has done one session and a half with us so it's unlikely that he will play too much tomorrow after three weeks out. He's worked really hard to recover his fitness."

OUR OPPONENTS
"Inter are having a great season and are looking really consistent. We haven't shown our best yet and we can do even better. Inter won the league last season and are good again this year. I still think we can cause them problems. There are a lot of key battles all over the pitch and we'll need to take any chances that come our way."

INDIVIDUALS
"Olivier is a player of international calibre. He's hungry to perform and is ready to play because he is an intelligent, complete player, who can link up the play and get into space in the box. Theo has improved; he's becoming a really complete player and his recent defensive performances have been his best during my tenure at the Club. He needs to aim for the top because he can affect the game at both ends. Franck's doing well; he's in great mental and physical condition. I expect him to have a great game. It's right to expect a lot from Rafa; he needs to back himself a bit more. He's improving rapidly and the time has come for him to show that. Brahim is fit." 

THE TRANSFER WINDOW AND A BALANCED LEAGUE TABLE
"I'm confident because I know how good my players are. They need to believe in their own ability and feel the faith in them from the Club and myself. The decision to not make any moves in the market was one we all shared. We chose to back our own players as we know how good they are. The wind can blow both with and against you in a season. I think we're a strong side and well in contention to finish in the top four. Juventus - beyond their dealings in the transfer market - have always been in the hunt for Champions League football. Serie A is really competitive, as it was last season, and we need to push from here right until the end of the campaign."

UPDATE ON MARKO LAZETIĆ
"He looks to be an open and hungry player and he was the right attitude and willingness to improve. He's physically imposing and is great on the ball. He'll be with us tomorrow and he will start to understand what it means to be at AC Milan and play in Italian football."


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