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press-conference14 May 2022

PIOLI: “IT'S TIME TO REAP WHAT WE HAVE SOWN”

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

There are just 180 minutes of football left of an incredible season, half of which will be played tomorrow in our final home game of the season (kick-off at 18:00 CEST). Ahead of AC Milan v Atalanta on Serie A matchday 37, Stefano Pioli gave his customary pre-match press conference, live on Milan TV, YouTube and Twitch from 14:15 CEST.

AC MILAN V ATALANTA LIKE ITALY V SPAIN IN THE EUROS
"We’ve essentially been playing knockout matches since Lazio v AC Milan, with these games weighing heavily on the league table. We’ve overcome some difficult obstacles, and tomorrow there will be another one against a team that will force us to play our best football possible."

PRE-MATCH EMOTIONS
"Playing in front of a full stadium will only makes us more fired up and give us more energy. In the past few days, the team have been calm and attentive. I’m certain that the players currently feel like I do right now: they’re focused and motivated, and we’ll board the bus to San Siro with positive energy."

PREVIOUS ENCOUNTERS WITH ATALANTA
"I’m convinced that the humiliating defeat we suffered was needed, but I don’t think it’s about ending a cycle tomorrow: it’s just a vital match that precedes another one. We mustn’t change our mentality of approaching games with our ideas and principles. Compared to the reverse fixture, I think they’ll do different things tomorrow. We don’t know who will play and how they will line up on the pitch. We are, however, aware of how they approach things tactically and the quality they possess. Tomorrow, two organised teams will come up against each other and the intensity displayed could make the difference."

THE RIGHT ATTITUDE   
"We need to be self-aware in our approach to the match; we’ve been very good so far, but we also need to be very good from tomorrow until the end. We mustn’t think beyond 17:59 CEST tomorrow evening and instead only focus on the game. The result will determine what comes next."

THIS WEEK’S BUILD-UP
"It might sound strange to you, but I’ve only noticed a really small amount of extra focus. In terms of their behaviour and attitude, the players have been the same as always. There hasn’t been a need for me to intervene in a particular manner."

IBRA, REBIĆ AND TONALI
"I hope it isn’t Zlatan’s last game at San Siro; he’s a champion in every respect, and I have immense respect for him. He has the intelligence and maturity to decide what is best going forward. Ante possesses really important qualities and has overcome various problems; he’s feeling great and will play a valuable role for us. Just like all his teammates, Sandro has been attentive and calm this week. He’s good at getting forward and is full of running, which is a characteristic that needs to be exploited both in and out of possession."

SET-PIECES
"We can do better. We’ve tried out different ideas, and I hope things go better in this regard tomorrow."

THE JOURNEY SO FAR
"We’ve gone through many experiences and various situations, and this has allowed us to reach a high level. Tomorrow is the moment to reap what we’ve sown."


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