Serie A: AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli plays down talk of title bid

The Rossoneri are level on points with Napoli at the top of the table - but also led the way in Italy last year for months before finishing 12 points adrift

Peter Hall
Monday 25 October 2021 13:56
Comments

AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli said it is too early to entertain talk of a Serie A title challenge from his side this season, calling on his team to learn the art of winning ugly if they are to emerge victorious at the end of the campaign.

Pioli’s side have impressed so far this season, winning eight and drawing one of their nine league games following their 4-2 success at Bologna on Saturday.

Saturday’s performance was far from a vintage one, as Milan needed two late goals to beat nine-man Bologna, but Pioli feels more victories when his side are not at their best are needed if they are to go on to win the Scudetto.

“It’s too early (for title talk), nine matches are nothing,” Pioli told a news conference ahead of his side’s clash with Torino on Tuesday.

“The next step is to go all the way. Last year we lacked something in terms of consistency, where we lost points when our performances dropped.

“The successful teams win even when you don’t play well - I believe that the step to take is this. When we play well - we often win well, but when we can’t play well we have to give everything until the end knowing that we have the quality to win games.”

Veteran forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic made his first Serie A start of the season in the win at Bologna and dropped deeper than normal to get involved in the play more - something Pioli said his side have been working on.

“It doesn’t matter who we have between the lines, but we have to stay there,” he added. “We made an excellent move in the first goal (for Rafael Leao) against Bologna.

“We must have players between the lines, players dropping deep and being open - if they are not always the same player then it means that we are still a little unpredictable.”

Pioli also revealed French full back Theo Hernandez, who the club confirmed has recovered from COVID-19 on Sunday, could feature against Torino.

Reuters

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in