Sunday, September 27, 2020

We´re still talking too much about our future – Pioli focused on Milan´s present

SoccerNews in Serie A 17 Jul 2020

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Stefano Pioli will not allow talk about Milan’s future to distract from the job in hand this season.

The Rossoneri are in a fine run of form, unbeaten in seven Serie A games since the restart having taken 17 points from those fixtures to leave them firmly on course for a place in next term’s Europa League.

However, talk of Ralf Rangnick replacing Pioli has persisted throughout, with the German having reportedly already agreed to take charge at San Siro after this campaign.

From Pioli’s point of view, what matters is the final five Serie A games, starting with a home clash against Bologna on Saturday.

“The work that we’ve done is ongoing,” he told reporters.

“Naturally this process couldn’t produce results immediately. In the past we’ve produced some excellent results but we weren’t able to take all of the chances that we’ve created. We have become a team. It’s taken time, but that’s only natural. 

“I think there are a number of different factors that have contributed to the fact that the team are exactly that – with balance, with different positions, with players with different characteristics.

“We’ve worked very hard, moving towards new ideas, new positions and a new way of setting up.

“Now that we’ve become a team, we need to stay united, stay together because we’re still talking too much about our future, but this, here and now, is still too important.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s future is another topic of discussion as the 38-year-old is out of contract following this season.

He played 90 minutes on Wednesday in a 3-1 win over Parma and Pioli will assess the Swede’s fitness in Friday and Saturday training sessions before deciding if he can start a fifth successive game. 

“Today’s training session as well as tomorrow morning’s session will be very important,” Pioli added. 

“I don’t think we need to ask Zlatan if he’s fit because if you ask him you always have a sure answer that he feels fit and firing, but so do all of his team-mates.

“I’ll make a decision based on the starting XI and also above all based on the fact that we need to make sure we have quality substitutes available with specific attributes.”

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