Stefano Pioli spoke in length to La Stampa and started out saying: “I had some targets, to show passion, a soul and principles of the game. I tried to put the players at ease on and off of the field. We can still improve, but something good has been done. The road has not finished yet. Players asked for clear work, a clear game plan. We have a good engine, the horses had to be free. We still need self confidence, this is the difference with the first three in the ranking. It will arrive with the continuity of work and results. But since I’m here we have 5 points less than Juventus, this is our level today.”
What did you think when Inter called you?
“It was the right moment. I always obtained my successes with work, passion and seriousness. No shortcuts, step by step. I hoped to have an important call to manage the team of my heart. Someone said I’m not ready for a big team? If you don’t have the chance to try, no one can say it.”
Was it tricky to manage a team with foreign owners at first?
“For me it was very easy, I found a work culture that it’s not easy to find in Italy. Suning has force and humility to learn and grow to do great things.”
A coach needs reference points across the pitch, Icardi is one, anyone else?
“One is not enough. I didn’t know him [Icardi], I found a mature person for his age. He can also become stronger.”
Why are Juventus stronger?
“Their mentality. Every year they’ve built teams stronger and stronger than the last and in Italy they can invest a lot.”
Will their newest challengers be Inter?
“Yes because the club is powerful, the team has a high value that will be increased, and the environment is important. Roma and Napoli did important things, but there isn’t an opponent for Scudetto. It can be Inter.”