Sunday September 20 2020
Pioli: 'Pressure is a privilege'

Stefano Pioli aims to improve Milan’s position in Serie A this term and hopes to start by turning a negative trend in the opening matches in recent years.

The coach was met by the press on Sunday and was asked if Milan were a Scudetto contender in 2020-21.

“I don’t know, it’s difficult to answer these questions,” Pioli said at a press conference. “We must always show that we are an ambitious team, we must give our all.

“The predictions are made to be proven wrong. In the last two years, Milan have lost the first match, we must change this trend.”

The Rossoneri started the season with a 2-0 win against Shamrock Rovers in the second qualifying round of the Europa League, setting up a match against Bodø/Glimt in the next round.

But Pioli is focused on the first match in Serie A and believes the 5-1 win against Sinisa Mihajlovic’s men in July will motivate the visitors.

“Tomorrow will be another match, those five goals don’t count anymore. There will be other players, in the final of last season, we played in short time.

“They will have the maximum motivation, but we will too.”

Milan finished sixth in Serie A 2019-20 and Pioli aims to improve their League position this term.

“Having pressure is a privilege, it means you have reached certain levels, our goal is to improve our season.

“We must be ambitious, we are Milan, we must continue to grow. We are a very young team with ample room for improvement.”

Pioli expects new signings Ciprian Tatarusanu, Brahim Diaz and Sandro Tonali to be prepared and ready to ‘help out immediately’.

“They were met by an already close-knit group, which helps each other a lot,” Pioli added. “Diaz and Tonali have talent and perspective, they are ready to help us immediately.

“Tatarusanu brings experience.”

Milan signed Ante Rebic on a permanent deal this summer, but he couldn’t play in the Europa League against Shamrock Rovers and will be ready to play his first match against the Rossoblu tomorrow.

“He is a very important player for us, he has quality, physical strength and depth,” Pioli said about the Croatian attacker.

“He completes our attacking department. He suffered from not being able to play in Europe, he is ready and prepared to support the team.”