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HomeUEFA Europa LeaguePioli wants AC Milan to face their season's tail-end 'head on'

Pioli wants AC Milan to face their season’s tail-end ‘head on’

AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli has urged his team to confront a crucial stage of the season “head-on.”

AC Milan will host Czech side Slavia Prague in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie on Thursday.

They enter the match after securing a last-minute 1-0 victory against Lazio in Serie A, marking their first win in four matches.

“We didn’t play at our best, technically, at the Olimpico, but we showed great character,” Pioli said at his pre-match press conference.

“The only game we let ourselves down in was against Monza, but over the last few months and in this recent period the team has kept up a certain level.

“The decisive part of the season is upon us and we’re ready to meet it head on.”

Pioli urges his squad to focus on the Europa League

Milan entered the Europa League after securing the third position in their Champions League group, falling behind Borussia Dortmund and Paris St Germain.

“The Champions League is no longer part of our campaign after a few details got away from us,” Pioli added.

“Now, we must focus on just doing well in this competition. We must have the mindset that we can win the trophy.

“Firstly, we will need to be at out best to get through this round and take it one step at a time, albeit with awareness and enthusiasm.

“We have to make the most of home advantage; it is a key period of the season because it’s not easy for anyone to be competitive in Europe and in the league.

“Slavia lost only to Roma in the group stage. They are an intense, direct and energetic team. They play with three players up top – all close to each other – and like to threaten in behind; they have strong and physical forwards.

“It’s not the badge that goes out onto the pitch, but the players and they have reached the quarter-finals twice in recent years. We respect our opponents.”

Ethan Dempsey
Ethan Dempsey
Ethan is a lifelong football fan. When he is not obsessing over the Premier League games, Ethan likes to read fantasy tomes, watch football documentaries and waste hours upon hours on video games.
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