Sunday February 16 2020
Pioli: 'If Milan had Ibrahimovic...'

Stefano Pioli doesn’t know where Milan would be today if he had started the season with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but believes they’ve found their shape against Torino.

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“We must reinforce the positive sensations and find the same spirit we showed in recent weeks,” said the coach in his press conference.

The Rossoneri fumbled a 2-0 lead to lose the Derby della Madonnina 4-2, then conceded a late penalty in their Coppa Italia semi-final draw with Juventus.

“We have the characteristics to play with this system, you can see the team is happier in these roles, is more balanced and solid, as well as creating more scoring opportunities.

“I know full well what my role is, that this is a big club and it’s natural there will always be rumours about my future, but we all have to concentrate on this campaign, as there are still 45 points up for grabs. I am not worried about my future, nor am I thinking about it, as we want to make the most of this situation.

“I have always felt the support of the club, I also know what my role is. In the end, the results along with the work done will decide future situations.”

Pioli took over from Marco Giampaolo and Ibrahimovic made a huge impact since his January transfer, so where would Milan be today if both had started the season?

“Good question, but it’s impossible to know the answer. When Ibra speaks, it’s always for a reason. He said I could trust him when he arrived, he trained hard and told me he is in good shape to keep playing.

“The fact remains, if we all play with intensity, then we get good results. The moment we let that intensity level drop, we pay for it.”

Torino are in an even worse situation than Milan, having recently sacked Walter Mazzarri to bring in Moreno Longo.

“Toro are difficult to overcome, as they have a lot of quality and physical strength, will be very determined to turn their situation around and we had to go to extra time to beat them in the Coppa Italia with a real struggle.”

Milan were furious after Juventus received a controversial penalty in the Coppa Italia semi-final, but Pioli does not agree with the idea of giving coaches a VAR challenge to demand on-field reviews.

“I don’t like it. The coach should be a coach, the referee should be a referee. Technology is meant to help the referee feel more confident in his decisions, something I haven’t seen recently.”

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