AC Milan boss has told his players that “only tomorrow counts” while he gave advice to the unsettled Rafael Leao
Milan and Sampdoria will face off at San Siro on Monday. Rafael Leao and Rade Krunic, who were suspended earlier, will be available for the match, but Junior Messias will be out due to a muscular strain for at least a couple of weeks.
If Milan wins the match, they will reach joint-second place with Inter in the league table and will make up for their loss to Fiorentina. Milan’s confidence has been boosted after they qualified for the quarter-finals of the Champions League by defeating Tottenham Hotspur midweek.
Pioli claims Milan are ‘concentrated’
“We need to dive back into the Serie A spirit with great determination. If we want to keep experiencing the Champions League emotions we enjoyed this week, then we have to finish in the top four,” Pioli said in his press conference.
“I saw what I wanted from the lads in training, we are concentrated, in good shape physically, mentally and tactically, though of course there are many things we can do better.
“When so many were eager to put us on trial in the media, we stayed united and realized what wasn’t working. From tomorrow onwards, everything that happens will be decisive for this season. What we’ve done in the past no longer counts, only what we do tomorrow.
“Compared to last season, we are doing better in Europe and less so in Serie A. Managing to get Milan into the Champions League for three seasons in a row is one of our objectives.”
Rossoneri has won the Champions League seven times in the past, but they haven’t made it to the quarter-finals in over a decade. As a result, people are now wondering if Milan is starting to intimidate European football once again.
“I don’t know, you’d have to ask the other clubs. I doubt anyone will be glad to face us.” he added.
Despite being expected to perform well against Spurs, Leao appeared disinterested and uninvolved during the game. The Portuguese winger missed the previous match due to suspension.
“We can do better in giving him service, as he made four or five runs into space that would’ve sent him clear with the right pass. We can all do more,” assured the coach.
“I continue to tell you that Rafa has more freedom than anyone in his movements. he needs to seek out the space and attacking options himself. Salernitana are a solid side in defence, so we must do even better to find those solutions. In Serie A, the coaches study how to neutralise their opponents and cause difficulties.
“Salernitana occupy quite similar tactical positions to Tottenham, they defend well and counter-attack quickly. We need to play with more precision and intensity.”