Stefano Pioli: ‘Milan are very close to the levels of Inter and Juventus ‘


Milan coach Stefano Pioli reflected on his team’s 3-2 win over Frosinone, suggesting his team are close to the levels of Inter and Juventus. The Rossoneri struggled for form going 2-1 down, but secured a valuable comeback victory, first scoring the equaliser through Matteo Gabbia and then the winner through Luka Jović. Speaking with DAZN, Pioli talked through the match, highlighting the form of Jovic who has been vital when coming off the bench:

On Jovic…

“He’s a decisive player. He isn’t getting a lot of playing time but he uses it to help the team. I push him a lot, I believe in his qualities. But the win is not just Luka’s merit. We started like this, then we grew, and we didn’t concede much. Then we went down but from a character point of view we didn’t give up.”

The feeling is that you had the clarity to wait for the right moment…

“Composure at a certain moment, yes, but that the team also believed in it. It was the same against Bologna only we didn’t succeed. In the new year, we are very close to the levels of Inter and Juventus who are doing very well.”

On Giroud and the attacking phase…

“Technical and moral qualities… Oli gives us a lot in every way. We made good use of the 1v1s on the flanks with Leao and Pulisic, perhaps the area should have been filled better. With the two strikers, we did it better.”

Where can we improve in the defensive phase?

“I believe that the more the level rises, for example against Napoli and Rennes, we must raise the level of our own play. Even on the second goal conceded, we are there but we are not attentive until the end. Many things can still be done better, especially when not in possession of the ball.”

On Rennes…

“Rennes is a talented team that will give us a hard time, they have talented players, an excellent striker like Terrier… Now let’s think about Napoli, let’s use the last full week to prepare well.”

Reijnders will miss the Napoli game…

“Tijji is playing so much, sooner or later he had to miss one… He will have the chance to be fresher for the Europa League but we have alternatives. Bennacer is back in good condition, Musah can play well there. We have alternatives to cover Reijnders’ absence, but with different characteristics.”

What is your point of view on the future?

“I don’t think anyone should be interested in my emotions and sensations, in the sense that it doesn’t matter if I’m bored or annoyed. The important thing is that the club and I are focused on the present. Some rumours don’t affect me. I’ve been part of this world here for too long to get annoyed or worried about certain rumours.

“And then, as it has always been since I’ve been at Milan, there is a club that evaluates the work at the end of the season and then decides. The club will decide. At Milan, I felt good from day one, I try to give something every day. If you ask what my desire is, it is to do very well this year, the season is still long, and then the future we will see.”

Are you rooting for the draw tomorrow?

“Yes, can you say no? (laughs). It will be a great match between two teams who are dominating the league. It will be very balanced like it was in the first leg.”


Serie A obsessive.