Stefano Pioli jokes Milan were testing his condition with their dismal start against Celtic, but is glad they ‘didn’t lose our heads’ to turn it around and win 4-2.
The coach was back on the bench almost three weeks after his COVID diagnosis and didn’t get off to the best start, as Celtic were 2-0 up within 13 minutes and Simon Kjaer went off injured.
However, the Rossoneri rallied for a 4-2 victory that put them through to the Europa League Round of 32.
“The lads wanted to put me to the test, to see if I’d fully recovered!” joked Pioli on Sky Sport Italia.
“We had started well, but those two distractions caused problems. It can be a teachable moment to help us grow. Even when 2-0 down, we have to keep playing as a team, which is what we did today.
“I am glad that even without Kjaer, and with such a young line-up, we didn’t lose our heads at 2-0 down. Celtic proved they wanted to get an important result and make a good impression at San Siro.”
When asked for an update on Kjaer’s condition, the coach said it was “a muscular issue, we don’t know the entity of it yet.”
Pioli was back after 18 days of being locked at home with COVID-19, in which Daniele Bonera stepped in.
“Those two weeks felt like an eternity. Aside from the games, it is a genuine pleasure to spend time with these players and my staff. We want to continue like this and be ambitious.”