The Milan coach explains why his side should have faith in their ambitions in the Champions League battle against Atalanta, but Ant Rebic ‘is more out than in’ as he is struggling with injuries.
had the opportunity to seal a top four finish by vanquishing Cagliari, but they drew the battle with a 0-0 result. Now, to secure their place, they have to beatAtalanta
We spoke all season about turning points, the team is motivated and will give its all. The final table will give its verdict,”
“There is a mixture of emotions in us: tension, excitement, concentration. We have everything it takes to prepare this game.
“Milan must believe in ourselves because we proved all season that we are a strong team. Atalanta deservedly reached the Champions League for the third year running, while we are called for the final push.
“Atalanta will play at the best of their abilities, and so must we. Our motivation is at the maximum for the club, individuals and our fans. This is the moment to stay united.”
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Matteo Gabbia are out of action due to injuries and the Rossoneri are deciding between Ante Rebic and Rafael Leao.
Rebic is more out than in right now. We’ll see tomorrow morning, but the others are all in good shape,”
“Rebic has a calf issue and was not able to go through an entire training session this morning. All 26 players will go to Bergamo tomorrow, all the staff, the whole club. The fans won’t be with us, but everyone else is taking part.
“We need to be very strong mentally, as there will be difficulties and we must be sharp to overcome those obstacles and continue playing our football.
“The club has always been behind us with great confidence in our work and they maintain we are on the right track.”
It has been believed that the Rossoneri could have grabbed theSerie A
title if they hadn’t been dealing with so many injury setbacks.
“Injuries certainly made a difference this season, especially as in some games we were missing entire groups of players in a single area of the team. When still in Europe, that meant we couldn’t rotate and those who were hurt didn’t have the opportunity to recover fully. We had games with six, seven or eight players missing, so the timing was the worst thing.”
Atalanta are one of the sides that Pioli has yet to beat as Milan’s manager.
“That’s because they are a very strong team and last season we weren’t at their level. We’ve got a lot closer and hopefully tomorrow can prove we are capable of beating anyone.
“Right now, we are in the Champions League and deservedly so, but what matters is where we’ll be tomorrow night. This is a team that has never shown fear. Fear is like fire, you can control it to feel warm or it can burn you.
“We’ve had other such delicate games and the team always showed a positive mental attitude. We never let our heads drop and I saw the right response this week.
“We mustn’t think about what we could’ve done, but on what we must do tomorrow. Our future is tomorrow, the rest doesn't matter."