AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli spoke to gathered reporters at a press conference today, ahead of tomorrow’s derby game against Inter. His words were noted by Italian media outlet TuttoMercatoWeb.
“They did better than we did from the start of the league until December, now we’re trying to catch up. Let’s hope we play this derby well. All games we prepare to win, and to do so you have to play better than your opponent. These are games that must be won.”
He spoke about the physical condition of 38-year-old Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
“He’s had a planned and individualised recovery, today he’s training with the team and if he passes this step today, he’ll be available tomorrow.”
The former Fiorentina coach then discussed some strategies for tomorrow’s game.
“The best part is the strategy for the game, taking into account the characteristics of the opponent. We’ll see if our strategy will be the right one tomorrow.”
Pioli touched on the importance of Ibrahimovic to the Rossoneri squad.
“We face a team that hasn’t lost for a long time, we must have Ibra tomorrow, charged and determined.”
He wasn’t worried about the partnership of Christian Eriksen and Romelu Lukaku
“It doesn’t change our position, we’re getting ready to be dangerous and compact.”
Pioli wasn’t worried about Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s physical condition.
“We did everything we could for him to recover, the path now just needs the full training with the team today.”
He didn’t want to discuss the words of former Inter coach Luciano Spalletti.
“I don’t have time to waste, those who think about the past or the future enjoy the present very little, and I am focused on our present.”
The former Fiorentina coach wasn’t pessimistic about tomorrow’s derby.
“I’m preparing to win the game, the team is fine, we don’t hide the difficulties because our opponents are strong. But we must have the conviction and confidence in our means.”
The 54-year-old Italian discussed what AC Milan has better compared to Inter.
“We’re creating a lot, and we have to maintain that attitude. We can’t afford to be a compact team in both phases of the game.”
Pioli touched on what he wants to see in tomorrow’s game.
“Us to show that we’re clear-headed and that we’ve prepared for the game well, with a clear strategy.”
He spoke about why he would pick Rafael Leão or Ante Rebic.
“When I make choices, I’ll try to focus on certain characteristics.”
The Rossoneri coach discussed the differences between him and Antonio Conte.
“I know him as a colleague, but to make a judgement I should have more in-depth knowledge. The most important thing is to try to get into the players’ heads, but I don’t envy Conte.”
He spoke about why AC Milan could win the derby.
“Because we’re a strong team and it’s important to us. It would mean a growth in self-esteem, in everything.”
Pioli spoke about whether the Rossoneri can still qualify for European competition.
“We’ll see in the next games.”
He touched on the physical conditions of Andrea Conti, Rade Krunić and Simon Kjær.
“They’ve all recovered, the only one who still has problems is Krunic, but we’ll see today.”
The former Fiorentina coach spoke about how long it’s been since the Rossoneri have won the Milanese derby.
“We have the qualities, we have to believe in them. We’re good and we’re getting there good, we want to play.”
Pioli highlighted how the derby is more important.
“It’s worth more, but the points are the same. But my team has already shown courage, we did and reacted in the right way. Now we have to show that we are more and more a team.”
Finally, Pioli spoke about what AC Milan will get if they win the derby.
“A lot, but I need to prepare the guys well and face Inter with determination and conviction.”