Milan coach Stefano Pioli finds himself in the midst of speculation regarding his future, but remains focused on their upcoming match against Frosinone. In the aftermath of a challenging draw against Bologna, Pioli expressed his determination to bounce back and emphasized the need for a quality performance in the upcoming match against i Giallazzurri:
After Bologna you said you were worried about the possible psychological backlash. How have the team looked?
“The dinner together had already been planned, there are many good moments. From the meetings I have had and the training sessions I have done, I am convinced that the team is aware of the moment and that the season is still long.”
Inter-Juventus is on Sunday night…
“True, but tomorrow there is Frosinone-Milan and we only have to think about this match. They play well, we will need a quality performance to win again.”
How is Bennacer?
“We all know his qualities, he can give us a lot. He had a slight injury at the African Cup of Nations, yesterday he returned to the group, he can’t get have playing time, but he’s fine and will be available.”
Do the rumours about Conte taking over next season bother you?
“It doesn’t bother me, maybe it bores me a little, but that’s how it works in football today. What matters is that the players and I want to do our best until the end of the season, the rest doesn’t interest me.”
How did studying the Bologna match go?
“We can do better, defend better in some situations.”
Who takes penalties?
“I have decided it, I will communicate it to the team tomorrow.”
A defender did not arrive in January…
“The opportunities that were created didn’t meet our or my needs. We wanted a ready player. It wasn’t a lack of will.”
A comment on the departure of Pellegrino?
“I need to play and I think he would have struggled with us at the moment.”
What do you think of Capello and Braida’s words?
“You can’t go too far back. Calhanoglu hasn’t played here for years now and we still won the title. We’re in a positive moment, even if a draw is now half a defeat.
“We’ve scored more and conceded fewer goals so far. This doesn’t it means that we are doing everything well. We want to do better than the first round. Then in the end everyone will make their own assessments.”
Are defensive problems more a case of individuals or of the system?
“It’s not a problem of players. It’s a question of intensity, concentration and attention. We have players with different characteristics compared to last year.
“We have more possession, we have had more chances, but despite this we have conceded fewer goals than last year at this point. We have to try to score one more goal than the others.”
Do you believe in targets?
“I believe a lot in my players and the discussions I have had with them during the week convince me more and more that I have a strong group. Then you can’t bet.”
What kind of defender did you want?
“I needed a ready player who knew the league, then we’ll think about the summer. Lenglet, Brassier? We didn’t consider all the opportunities we evaluated to be up to what we needed, so we’re focusing on Simic.”
No reinforcement arrived in midfield either…
“With Bennacer’s early return, we will place our trust in Zeroli who will become the sixth midfielder in place of Pobega.”
What is the target?
“It’s right to have the goal of winning every match from here to the end.”
Have you resolved the doubts regarding the UEFA squad list?
“The doubt is not between Simic and Terracciano, because Simic can only enter the ‘A’ list. So he won’t be in it.”
Are you still convinced that this way of playing has more benefits than risks?
“We have to play to control the game.”
Do the many criticisms bother you?
“Inter and Juve are having a better season than ours, this is evident. It bothers me not to have won on Sunday due to a collective error, not an individual one.
“It is right that there are high expectations. We know our qualities and when we fail to to express ourselves at our best, we have to work harder.”
Is the ability to run backwards missing?
“We prefer to run forward, if we manage to interrupt the opponent’s build-up play there are more chances of preventing their attacks while also gaining confidence and enthusiasm.
“You’re talking a lot about tactics, I’m talking more about mentality than strategy. Go and review the penalty against Bologna with the whole team behind the ball, it was enough to communicate and take better positions.
“On Orsolini’s cross there were 6 of us against 3 of them: we need to do better in those situations. If we can run forward we will, if we have to defend a little we’ll do it deeper. Then if we win they say we’re playing well, if we don’t win…”
What is this team missing to be permanently among the top in Europe?
“This year there was a lack of consistency and luck. In general, to always be there, you have to get used to it.”
What is the difference between Bennacer and Adli?
“Benncer is better one-on-one in both phases. Adli is growing a lot. They can play together.”
What to do to avoid suffering Frosinone’s quick counter-attacks tomorrow?
“We will have to be good at regrouping or being aggressive straight away. We made a mistake in Bologna’s first goal, tomorrow we will have to do better.”
Does the team not sense the danger?
“There are times when we need to have our antennas straighter.”