Thursday November 5 2020
Pioli: 'Milan target Champions League'

Milan coach Stefano Pioli said the Rossoneri target a return to the Champions League and only focus on ‘the present and the future’.

The 55-year-old has turned things around at San Siro and the Rossoneri are currently unbeaten in 24 competitive games and top Serie A with 16 points from six games.

But despite the great start to the season, Pioli said he wasn’t thinking about the Scudetto battle just yet.

“If we are still in this position on Week 32, I would say yes,” Pioli said to L’Equipe. “But there are still many games ahead of us and we must focus on our target, which is to return to the Champions League.

“The project here is clear. We no longer look at what has happened in the past, but at the present and the future.

“Many young players have been brought in, the target is to make them understand what it means to be part of Milan and bring the club back to the heights of a time.”

The Rossoneri, despite having 39-year-old veteran Zlatan Ibrahimovic regularly in the line-up, have the youngest team in the Europa League.

“Young doesn’t mean superficial,” Pioli said. “I have a very responsible, serious and mature team.

“There are players like [Gianluigi] Donnarumma, [Franck] Kessie, [Alessio] Romagnoli and [Hakan] Calhanoglu, who have strong personalities within the group.”

Pioli has been nicknamed the ‘Normal One’ and said ‘simplicity’ is very important to him.

“Simplicity is an important feature for me,” he added. “I have my ideas and I try to adapt them to the players I have at my disposal.

“I’m not a fundamentalist and I try to put the group in the best conditions to make the most of it, following the main characteristics of my players.”

Tonight, the Diavolo play LOSC Lille in the Europa League and both teams are unbeaten in two group stage matches.