Stefano Pioli explains what has changed in Milan’s performances lately, as they prepare to take on Gennaro Gattuso’s Napoli. ‘We must realise our potential.’
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“The improvement in results lately has been because we’ve made better choices in our finishing and final ball, but we always did create the chances,” said the coach in his press conference.
“There’s no point looking back at what might’ve been, we simply weren’t consistent enough. It takes time to build something important in a team, whether it’s technical, tactical or in terms of character.
“We must end the season well, there are still many points up for grabs. Napoli are a great team with a wonderful coach who won the Coppa Italia only a few weeks ago.
“We have to put in a great performance and we’ve got what it takes to do that. The important thing is that we realise our potential, make the most of this moment of confidence and give our best.”
This is the first time that Gennaro Gattuso is facing Milan as an opposition coach, having been in charge of the Rossoneri last season.
“It’s difficult to compare this Milan with last year’s, as Rino had started the campaign,” noted Pioli, who replaced Marco Giampaolo in October.
“He gets his teams to play well and gives them the right mentality. We are still seventh in the table and that’s not where we want to be, so we’re trying to change that.”
Rafael Leao has become something of a supersub for Milan, scoring off the bench in the last few games.
“He has innate talent, without doubt, but that has to be cultivated and worked on. I am very happy with what he’s doing, as he is giving an important contribution to the team. I continue to say it’s not how many minutes you play, but the quality of what you do in those minutes. If he continues like this, Leao will get his chance from the start soon.”
Even if Pioli were to get Milan into the Europa League positions, it’s still well known he’d be fired to make way for Ralf Rangnick at the end of the season.
“I don’t know if the club has already made a decision, but that’s not my concern,” assured Pioli.
“My only focus is on getting the players to do well. We’re happy to be working well, then whoever has to make the decision will make it. We are professionals and we experience our work passionately. Each of us has individual ambitions that we can only achieve by working as a team.”
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