Stefano Pioli tells Milan the clash with Parma will be ‘played more with the head than the body’ and reassures Gianluigi Donnarumma after criticism in Naples.
It kicks off on Wednesday at 18.30 UK time (17.30 GMT).
“We must continue picking up points if we want to get back into Europe,” said the coach in his press conference after a 2-2 draw away to Napoli.
“Parma are a difficult team to take on tomorrow and we must be prepared in every way. This sort of match is played more with the head than the body. For example, if we played the SPAL match another 100 times, we’d win in 99 of them rather than draw 2-2, but that day we didn’t convert our chances.
“Tomorrow, we need to be extremely concentrated. We have created our own philosophy of football, our identity and precise mentality, which allowed us to achieve important results.
“Now we’ve got to continue like this and the next six rounds will tell us what kind of a team we really are.”
Pioli is not expected to remain on the Milan bench beyond August, as Ralf Rangnick has already been chosen to replace him.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic also dropped heavy hints he won’t be staying either, ready to walk away after six months.
“The injury robbed him of a bit of his form. I’ll decide tomorrow whether to field him from the start. Ibra is a winner and he was unhappy when substituted against Napoli because we were losing. It’s the right attitude to take.
“Rafael Leao is improving a great deal, he has this incredible potential and can do so much more. I have a lot of options upfront, but I think Milan will only get to see the real Leao next season, once he’s had more time to adapt to Italian football.”
The 2-2 draw with Napoli saw Gianluigi Donnarumma take centre-stage, as he performed heroics on some scoring opportunities, yet fumbled the two goals.
“Gigio is a very balanced guy, he doesn’t get too downbeat after criticism, nor does he get ahead of himself when things are going well. As far as I am concerned, he was blameless for the two Napoli goals.”
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