Pioli Press-Conference before Sassuolo-Milan

PIOLI: “WE’RE DOING WELL AND WE HAVE TO KEEP IT UP”

Our Coach’s words on the eve of the game against Sassuolo: “They’re a team who deserve great respect”

Two home wins in a row against Parma and Bologna as AC Milan continue their hot pursuit of fifth place, with the Rossoneri now preparing for a tough trip to the Mapei Stadium to face Roberto De Zerbi’s Sassuolo. With one day left until the game, Coach Pioli spoke about his pre-match thoughts.

OUR CURRENT FORM
“Right now we’ve got a clearer identity on the pitch and as a result it’s becoming easier to find different options in our game. At the same time, it has to be said that the individual performances have improved a lot. There’s more confidence, and know we know how to get through difficult times because we’ve got a greater awareness. We’re fourth in the table if you just look at this period. So many of my players are proving that they’re up to playing for such a big Club and such a prestigious shirt.”

SASSUOLO
“They’ve got dangerous players and in general they’ve got a strong set of attackers. They’re a team to be faced with a lot of respect. Tomorrow we’ll have to be good at staying in the game. We have to earn as many points as possible up until 2 August.”

THE CALENDAR
We’re facing a really difficult run of games. Up next, we’ve got Sassuolo and Atalanta. It’s clear that the match against Bologna allowed us to give a few players some much-needed rest. Mentally we’re doing fine, and that obviously helps us to recover faster between games.”

PHYSICAL CONDITION
“We’re on a strong run of form, few would have thought that we’d have got so many points on the board. Physically we’re fine, we’re not running out of steam. But I think that the next two games are the ones where we’ll have to prove we’re a great team, then we’ll turn our minds to the last two matches.”

INDIVIDUALS
Hakan’s improving, just as I expected. He has great technical, physical and mental qualities. He already has all he needs to become a top player, but I think there’s still room for improvement. Bennacer is the complete midfielder, with the ability to perform at both ends of the pitch. As for Ibra, his last two performances were brilliant and he set the benchmark for his teammates. And for Donnarumma, reaching 200 appearances was a huge milestone. He needs to be ambitious and keep up the good work because he has the potential to become the best in the world.”

ATTACK
“We tend to send plenty of players forward in attack. Ibra gives us plenty of options, because he’s great at dropping deep and creating space for his teammates. Having numbers up front is crucial, there’s no point in holding back.”

Read also: WHY PIOLI AND RANGNICK SHOULD WORK TOGETHER NEXT YEAR