After Crotone, Spezia: the Rossoneri are set to face off against the Ligurian side, who are heading into the game on the back of a victory against Sassuolo. On the eve of the matchday 22 clash, scheduled for 20:45 CET on Saturday 13 February at the Stadio Alberto Picco, Coach Pioli held a press conference from Milanello. Here's what he had to say:
SPEZIA V AC MILAN
"We’ve prepared for the match with the aim of being ready, determined and attentive. It’ll be a tricky match, Spezia caused us problems earlier on in the season. They’ve already beaten strong sides and possess quality and pace. They also play a modern and attacking style of football. Our concentration levels will need to be high. We must only focus on ourselves and not on other teams, trying to achieve the maximum in the process. There’s still a long way to go, the league doesn’t finish tomorrow. We’ll need to give absolutely everything right until the very end in order to not have any regrets."
"It’s been a good week: apart from Díaz and Maldini, everyone has worked as part of the group and is available. I have plenty of options and this is important. It won’t be easy and I’ll need everybody: it’s not just the starters who play a vital role, but those who come on too. We needed a bit of time to recover and work in more of a calm manner, even if we wanted to go further in the Coppa Italia. We’ve started the second half of the season in the best way possible and want to continue in this fashion. We’re a young team and have ample room for improvement, both on a technical and tactical level. Expectations have been raised and we need to ensure that we’re ready."
THE CLUB AND A GREAT WORKING RELATIONSHIP
"Gazidis's compliments were pleasing, it took a bit of time for us to get to know each other but now we enjoy a great relationship. There’s great harmony throughout the Club and we’re all rowing in the same direction, working together to make AC Milan successful again. We've laid good foundations but mustn’t stop now."
DONNARUMMA AND ÇALHANOĞLU’S CONTRACT RENEWALS
"We’re very confident and the Club has been clear. The players are part of our project and are relaxed."
"Leão has done very well and been very important for us: he’s always been ready, including when we were missing a few strikers. He’s grown and mustn’t stop doing so. Ibra at the Sanremo Music Festival? For now, our festival only involves the pitch, we’re focused on our upcoming matches. Çalhanoğlu will start, while it remains to be seen whether Rebić or Leão will play from the beginning."
(Photo Getty Images)