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Pioli: ‘Loss to Udinese means I did a bad job’

Stefano Pioli concedes that the fault for Milan’s 3-1 loss to Udinese in part rests with him: ‘It means the manager has done a bad job in preparing for the match.’ The Rossoneri dominated possession and had more shots on target than their opponents but lacked a clinical edge, their only goal coming from the penalty spot through Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Speaking with Sky Sport Italia after the game (as quoted by SempreMilan), Pioli opened up about the poor performance and explained why he thinks the blame lies with him for not preparing the team enough:

“It was a bad game. When a team plays a match like this, only halfway, we weren’t precise or attentive or intense, it means the manager has done a bad job in preparing for the match. A performance that was too poor for our level.”

“It would be serious if we are already thinking about the quarter-finals. Reaching top four is essential for us, in the last few league games we’ve dropped too much, and when you go down you risk having these matches.”

“Disappointed? Definitely disappointed with our work, we achieved too little in the league. There are always worries, we have to take advantage of the break to raise our level. We didn’t interpret the match well tonight.”

“I believe that in the other games, we have conceded little and created more. Tonight we struggled, it was difficult to be dangerous. With Rebic and Krunic we moved back to 4-2-3-1, but too many times we talk about formations when it comes to intensity and many other things that we haven’t been able to put on the field.”

“Leao? I asked him to be incisive, to be a striker. Sometimes he’s been too far from the goal. It’s not a question of struggling, it’s just that when he gets few balls he tends to lower himself: he can’t take the ball so far from the goal and then dribble past 5-6 players. We try to put him closer to the goal. We must all do better.”

“Change back in formation? We can go back, we will evaluate everything. It will also depend on our conditions and the positions of the opponents. We will do whatever it takes to get back to playing the football we like best and are capable of playing. Too many things didn’t work tonight.”

“Backwards steps? No, absolutely no. Because there were no signs of a drop in tensions or other difficult technical-tactical situations. We prepare the game to always have advantages in certain situations. We started poorly and ended up worse. We must and I will have to work better to keep my players more concentrated.”

“Was this because of the Champions League qualification? If we think like this, then it becomes difficult to play in the league. It’s clear that we cannot win the league again, but we want to win this mini championship of the teams fighting for a place in the Champions League. I train a very responsible team, we will be able to analyze the mistakes and we will field different performances because we certainly want to do better in the league.”

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