Stefano Pioli urges AC Milan to ‘demonstrate our strength’ against Roma

By Sports Desk April 10, 2024

AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli believes now is the time for his players to show their strengths heading into the defining period of the campaign, starting with an all-Italian Europa League quarter-final against Roma.

The Rossoneri are on a run of seven straight wins in all competitions and sit second in Serie A, six points clear of Juventus.

However, with hopes of the Scudetto all but over given the healthy lead of rivals Inter at the top of the table, Pioli knows all of that hard work will count for nothing if his squad do not last the distance in Europe.

“We are in a good moment, but now comes the most important moment of the season which will decide the balance of our season, what we have done, our positive or negative path,” Pioli told a press conference.

“This is the moment which we must demonstrate our strength, demonstrate that the journey we have had through ups and downs has improved us. It depends on us.”

Pioli added: “We have to play the whole match with attention, quality, intensity and maximum minute by minute.

“We want to win, we will try. For me we are not that far from the level of the best in Europe – we play modern football and we are competitive”

Milan will be without defender Fikayo Tomori through suspension, but Simon Kjaer and Malick Thiaw have returned to training with the rest of the squad.

Roma head to San Siro on the back of a derby win over city rivals Lazio, which left them fifth in the table and three points behind Bologna in the battle for Champions League qualification.

Milan have beaten Roma in both of their Serie A fixtures this season.

The 3-1 defeat at San Siro in January saw Roma part ways with manager Jose Mourinho and install former player Daniele De Rossi until the end of the season.

Pioli is expecting a stern test from the Giallorossi, who knocked out English side Brighton to reach the last eight.

“I think De Rossi is doing an excellent job,” the Milan boss said.

“It wasn’t easy to overcome a team that defended with many players when Mourinho was there, probably tomorrow we will find a different opponent with different characteristics.

“We know what Roma are about and their important players, but we don’t know what we will face tomorrow.

“However, we are prepared and mature enough to be able to read what they concede to us and then also make the most of our own skillsets.”

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