Stefano Pioli insists that he and his team are only focused on tomorrows derby against Inter, and last seasons defeats aren’t of interest to him. Both Milan clubs have perfect records so far this season, putting them on joint pegging at the top of the table after three rounds. Speaking ahead of tomorrow derby with their cross city rivals, Pioli outlined how it’s an opportunity to showcase the progress his Milan side has made so far this campaign:
Are you only thinking about tomorrow’s match?
“Definitely. We and they both started well. We want to continue like this.”
Are you curious to see how the new Milan will fare in the derby?
“I was curious before the season opener. Now I am convinced of how the team has prepared and how it will face the match. We have prepared for it in detail.”
Is Giroud the new Ibrahimovic in the dressing room?
“There is only one Ibra. It’s the team that has grown, it’s clear that there are players with personalities like Giroud, but fortunately our path has allowed young players to mature.”
Has the gap with Inter been closed?
“I don’t care about the last few derbies, I’m only interested in tomorrow. Otherwise we could talk about the Scudetto won and not won by Inter. The only thing that matters is putting the solutions in place to play our game.”
How is Kjaer?
“Kjaer is very well and is ready to play such an important match.”
Inter players did well during the internationals over the break…
“We hope to have saved the goals for tomorrow. We must always be worried. Inter played on par with City, but we will try to do better than them.”
What approach must you have?
“The next match is always an opportunity to demonstrate our quality. My players must think so. If we are stronger, the pitch will tell. Tomorrow the train will pass through one station, but then there will be many others.
“We are only at start, I like how we are working, tomorrow we will leave the field even stronger because from each match there will be good and less good things to work on.”
What is the strong point of Milan and Inter?
“I’ll tell you tomorrow after the match. We’ll need a high-level match because to win the derby you have to play well.”
What do you want to see and what don’t you want to see?
“I want to see Milan, I want to see what we have prepared. We will have the right approach to do well. We are not afraid of anything.”
In the last derbies you didn’t start well…
“I haven’t watched past derbies, but only our and their matches this season.”
Is there any one player who can hurt Inter?
“No, we thought about signing players to grow the team. I am grateful to the club for the team we have built.”
How is Leao?
“He has grown a lot, he is becoming a dominant and decisive player. And he will have to be so tomorrow too.”
What do the changes at Inter mean for Milan?
“The characteristics change a bit, but in the first few games it doesn’t seem to me that Inter have changed the way they play.”
Does the way you defend change with Kjaer?
“No, it doesn’t change. Why should it change?”
What do you think of Cardinale’s words?
“We are pleased with his interest. He has to help everyone grow. I also spoke to him in person about last year’s match against Chelsea. So far we have shown good signs.”