Pioli: “Mourinho is cunning and shrewd. A great communicator. We need to step up our game in direct confrontations”

In a pre-match press conference, Stefano Pioli, head coach of Milan, has outlined his strategies for the upcoming game against Roma.

“We need to aim for a specific goal, which is to improve our first half of the season. This could guarantee us third place, but if we want to aim for something more, we need to improve a lot,” Pioli expressed. This communication indicates Pioli’s high ambitions for Milan while acknowledging that the team needs to significantly step up their game. After the press conference, he was asked about a meeting with the players following the Atalanta loss.

“There was indeed a meeting. It felt like an effective discussion about our way forward from tomorrow. We have clear objectives. We’ve suffered another disappointment, but we have to transform it into a great energy to vindicate ourselves immediately,” was Pioli’s response.

The media raised questions about player Theo’s position, considering his strong performance in previous matches. Pioli opined, “Theo has done very well as a central player and has been effective in both defence and attack. Tomorrow I’ll see what team to field. Certainly, Theo will be on the field.”

In response to Mourinho’s comment that Milan could be potential champions, Pioli replied with a mix of admiration and scepticism, “Mourinho is a top-tier manager, he’s cunning and astute. He always glorifies the competitors before certain matches.”

On his view of Rocchi’s words, Pioli stated, “I completely agree with Rocchi, I have great respect for him. We all need to lower the tones. The discussions should be respectful and calm. If someone from the professionals makes a mistake, they should be strictly punished. But on the other hand, I ask for more uniformity and consistency in the refereeing.”

As for the team’s strategies, he commented, “Our biggest problem lies in the goals conceded, and this should be the players’ focus: all of us should defend better, be more organised and collaborative. We are the 6th best defence and everyone should focus on this.” This shows his serious approach to improving Milan’s defensive capabilities which could profoundly influence the upcoming matches.

Analysing the performance in the first half of the season, Pioli concluded, “The results aren’t random. It requires a high level during direct confrontations because the values are those, if your level drops…”

This analysis clearly indicates Pioli’s belief in the cohesion of the team and the belief they have the capacity to improve and aim higher in the season.

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