Stand-in Milan coach Daniele Bonera admits he was surprised by how much quality Franck Kessie brings as well as physicality after a 2-0 win over Fiorentina.
Kessie converted one penalty, and had another saved by Bartlomiej Dragowski, after Alessio Romagnoli’s header.
“I see another small piece in the large puzzle that we started some time ago. The game after the Europa League is always the toughest, but we reacted like the great team we are,” Bonera told DAZN.
Coach Stefano Pioli had a video call with the players on the pitch straight after the final whistle, as he is still self-isolating with COVID-19.
“It’s a lovely group, we had the video call in the dressing room too. The coach is with us all the time, really, and keeps up to date with all the training sessions at Milanello. I am really enjoying the experience, but above all we are all anxious to see Pioli back on the touchline.
“We have grown because we enjoy the work, enjoy the challenge and spending time together.”
Romagnoli seemed to make a ‘chatter’ gesture towards the cameras after scoring his goal today, hitting back at recent criticism.
“I missed what he did during the celebration, as I was too busy urging everyone to get back into position. I am happy with the performance, but above all the spirit of the team,” continued Bonera.
“Davide Calabria believes in himself a lot more and that has made the difference. We knew Simon Kjaer’s experience would be crucial to this team when he arrived in January, as he is a leader and a real man.”
Kessie is the player who has become truly essential to the Rossoneri and a leader in the midfield.
“We know how important Franck is, he has become pivotal in terms of quantity and quality. We used to think he was mainly muscle, but he has really improved his technique and we are very happy with him.”
Hakan Calhanoglu was scoring regularly in the first few weeks of the season, particularly in the Europa League, but seems to be less sharp now.
“There are moments in the season when you take two shots and both go in. He hit the upright this time. In all honesty, the contribution Calha gives goes well beyond goals, as he works really hard for the team and makes a big impact, whether he scores or not.”