Saturday November 7 2020
Pioli: 'Milan criticism and praise excessive'

Stefano Pioli warns ‘criticism and praise are always excessive in football’ after Milan’s first defeat, but they are ready to fight back with Verona.

It kicks off on Sunday at 19.45 GMT, click here for a match preview.

The Rossoneri suffered their first defeat of the season, and since pre-lockdown in March, in the 3-0 Europa League loss to Lille on Thursday evening.

“We lowered the level of our performance against the wrong opponent, so must be ready to step it back up again tomorrow,” said the coach in his press conference.

“We had the right spirit, but were lacking in the precision of our passing. It’s essential we are determined tomorrow, as it’s another opportunity to prove what we can do and show what level we are at.

“An off day was bound to happen, we’ve played 10 games in 21 days, so have to be ready to deal with that both mentally and physically. Against Lille, we found an opponent in great physical shape.”

Pioli was asked if the pressure on Milan was starting to become a little excessive, considering they finished sixth last season.

“We create our own pressure and are very tough on ourselves, because we want to be ambitious. We’re not interested in what the pundits say, the important thing is to remain concentrated and try to win games.

“Criticism and praise are always excessive in football, so I am not remotely worried about Alessio Romagnoli, Theo Hernandez or anyone else who is singled out. Our problem against Lille was that we weren’t sharp enough in our choices, didn’t read the spaces they left for us, but we can analyse this and learn from it.”