February 25, 2024

Milan boss Stefano Pioli insists Mike Maignan’s calf is not reacting as it should and mourns Gianluca Vialli: ‘2023 hasn’t started well.’



The Rossoneri face Roma at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza tomorrow, but Pioli’s press conference today began with the remembrance of Gianluca Vialli.


“I played many times against him, 2023 didn’t start well. We’ve lost a champion in football and life,” said the Milan coach.


“A generous person, correct and coherent. We are very sad and send our condolences to his family and his loved ones.”


What does Pioli make of Roma?


“They are a structured team, strong and complete. They beat Inter and we respect them,” he said.


“De Ketelaere? Charles feels well, physically and mentally, I rely on him.”


The Rossoneri are the team that scored the most goals from open play this term, but Pioli believes his lads can further improve.


“We can do more, we know how important it is to score first and I still think it’s important to create goal-scoring opportunities. Given the quality of my players, we must score more goals.”


Olivier Giroud is the only centre forward available against Roma given that Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ante Rebic and Divock Origi are still on the treatment table and the same is true of Junior Messias.


“Giroud feels well, physically and mentally,” confirmed Pioli. “The next eight weeks will be very demanding. We’ll face the next steps with focus, we want to be competitive in every tournament.


“We must earn many points to try to win the title we must raise the bar,” continued the coach.


Maignan is still out of action with a calf injury and won’t be back anytime soon, Pioli confirmed.


“There’s no timing, we are making our assessments with the staff. I can’t say if he will be back in two, three or five weeks.


“Mike has all our support. He has the desire, but he is aware that there is a schedule to respect because the muscle is not reacting as it should. I don’t know when he will be back.”


The Rossoneri confirmed the signing of Devis Vasquez this week, but the Colombian keeper is still not ready to play.


“I spoke to him this morning, he has a good personality. He partially trained with the team today, we’ll see what happens in the coming weeks.”


How about Sandro Tonali? The Italy international scored against Salernitana and has had a key role for the Rossoneri over the last year.


“He is improving so much,” admitted Pioli.


“He is improving so much,” admitted Pioli.


“He’s become complete and very strong. He knows how to do everything, he is aggressive and knows how to move without the ball. He is becoming a great player, and he will continue to improve. That’s what he wants.”




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