Pioli anticipates Napoli’s ‘complicated’ clash and shares injury updates as the trio could return

On the eve of the clash between Milan and Napoli, scheduled for tomorrow at 20:45 CET, Stefano Pioli spoke to the media in the usual press conference. Another great opportunity for the Rossoneri to demonstrate their quality.

Milan managed to score an important away goal in Thursday’s match against Man Utd, scoring the draw in the recovery final. And they also comfortably beat Hellas Verona on the weekend which means they are in good shape.

At the press conference, as quoted by MilanNews, Pioli was questioned about the situation and the great match tomorrow. He also shared an update on the injury situation that has haunted the team lately, among other things.

Tonali said there is a photo of Rio Ave-Milan in the locker room, is it the spark?

“It is the spark that Milan must always have, in a season there are difficulties to overcome, they have served to stimulate us, to wake us up, to make us grow. That photo there reminds us of a particular evening, it is useful to understand which passages we have overcome ”.

Napoli arrives tomorrow …

“They play good football, they have quality, they are compact. A complicated match awaits us because Napoli are one of the strongest teams in the league ”.

How are the injured?

The injured are Calabria and Romagnoli, today Alessio trained with the team but still has some problems. I’m in doubt for tomorrow. I think we will get Theo, Calha and Rebic back. For Ibra, Mandzukic and Isma we have to wait until next week “.

Is it also important to choose who is mentally better off?

“The psychophysical condition during a challenging year is inevitable that it can worsen for some and improve for others. Tomorrow I will try to choose who is better off physically and mentally “.

In these matches Milan seemed more convinced …

“We relaxed only once, against Spezia, in the other matches the determination was never lacking. I train a group of very responsible players, a group of quality, even in numerical difficulties I have the opportunity to count on strong players. If we work together, we can become strong. “

Is Milan still aiming for the Scudetto?

“We have to focus on tomorrow’s match, the most important match is tomorrow night. We can’t look at the standings, we have to think about winning as many games as possible, tomorrow we have an important opportunity against a strong opponent who has always put us in difficulty ”.

How important was the intensity of this season?

“We had to work a lot, the intensity is first of all mental, in the last few games we played in the team. It’s a challenging way to play, for many guys it’s the first season you play every three days, a decline may be but we have been good at learning from our losses. Intensity and quality must go hand in hand if we are to maintain these levels. “

What recipe did you use to relaunch Milan?

“Work and trust in our qualities. Obstacles cannot make a team forget how to play, which allowed us to be the surprise of 2020. We just had to review the situations and have a much more compact team. The determination was never lacking even if outside there was talk of a lot of negativity, it wasn’t like that “.

Should we expect an aggressive Milan tomorrow?

“I think there is a bit of confusion about aggression, it’s the players who have to give messages to the team to put pressure. We have to play with the rhythm, we play with the rhythm even when you have the ball. You have to move it very fast, let it run. If we want to aim for a top season we have to improve our home results ”.

We went from a Milan dependent on Ibrahimovic to a Milan dependent on Pioli …

“Ibra is our lighthouse, but Milan are addicted to our game. There are many leaders because we recognize a certain way of being on the pitch “.

Did the owners congratulate you after Thursday’s game?

“The owners are always very close, they congratulate themselves after the victories. But now let’s think about Napoli ”.

You have protected Leao these days …

“I always have to protect my players, especially when I see the right attitudes, sacrifice and work. Everyone has it, even Leao. Last year he lacked the ability to stay in the game with more continuity, on this he has improved.

“I expect a lot from him, he is working well for the team, he must continue like this. He needs to improve in recognizing game times, sometimes wasting energy running when his teammates can’t serve him. The goal will come. “

Meite is doing very well …

“He grew up a lot, he came from a completely different way of playing, at first he played at a slower pace than his teammates. He was very good, he gave very positive performances, he played with rhythm, intensity and quality. Is fine. I’ll see what choices to make. Tonali has rested and I think he can play tomorrow. “

How do you rate Saelemaekers and Castillejo?

“In Verona they both made a good performance, giving good solutions, they both give an excellent contribution, they can also do better. We are focused on what needs to be done rather than what we have not been able to do in the past. “

How much has Kessie changed in the past year?

“The merits are all from Franck, he had an important daily application, I don’t know what it was like in the past. He is mentally very strong, always ready to help his teammates, to do and say the right thing.

“With the qualities he has he can play anywhere, in the end I put him as an attacking midfielder, now he can do everything. It has an important presence and positivity, it is big enough to grow further. He is becoming a very important player. “

What did Gattuso’s job at Milan leave you?

“He had done a great job here, then Milan went through another coach, it’s hard to understand what he left and what didn’t.”

Where did the idea come from to put Kessie as director at Old Trafford?

“Diaz had played well, but we wanted Manchester defenders to play dirty. Having an imposing player who could handle some aerial duels was important. “

Are you expecting an opponent similar to Verona tomorrow?

“Difficult, there are several ways to play. They are two very different teams in their positions on the pitch, but it is true that they have physically strong defenders and fast attackers. “

How do you improve your pace on the pitch?

“Especially mentally, if you want to play with rhythm the ball has to move fast. When we weren’t playing at that pace the ball was spinning too slowly, so it’s hard to break positions. It is an important goal to move the ball and move it well. “

As mentioned, the match will start at 20:45 CET and Napoli will certainly want to win the three points. It is their chance to return to the Champions League, while Milan want to establish themselves in second place.

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