Pioli talks Ibrahimovic's condition, his own future and Coppa Italia semifinal

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16 February at 14:20
AC Milan will face Torino tomorrow at the San Siro and will look to bounce back from the second half collapse against Inter Milan in the Derby della Madonnina in the last Serie A round and try to build on the positive performance against Juventus in the Coppa Italia semifinal on Thursday.

On the eve of the Monday matchup, Rossoneri coach Stefano Pioli attended his regular press conference at Milanello and spoke about the upcoming clash, the current moment of the team and much more.

"The team is doing well, we come from two important performances from the point of view of compactness and play. We must strengthen these positive feelings and strengthen where we are in difficulty," Pioli told Calciomercato.com.

"Torino? We must be prepared to overcome a difficult opponent. They have important technical and physical values and they will have great determination and desire to overturn their situation. It will be a difficult match, like that in the Coppa Italia."

The former Inter and Fiorentina coach went on to speak about Zlatan Ibrahimovic and his physical condition ahead of his third match in seven days. He also spoke about the formation and tactics of his team as well as his own future at the club, considering the recent reports that Europa League is a necessity for him to reach confirmation on the Rossoneri bench

"Ibrahimovic never speaks by chance and he has always told me: 'Trust me'. I saw him well and tomorrow we will see how he is. The tactics? I am sure that all game systems are good if the characteristics of the players are suitable. We also have Paqueta and Jack who can play in this formation," Pioli noted.

"My future? I know very well what my role is and how good we and the players have been, not to get carried away by the market rumours in January and we must continue to do so until the end. We are at a great club, the rumours are normal, but we must be focused and determined on the job.

"15 league matches are still many, 45 points are many. I'm not worried about my future and I'm not even thinking about it. I want to stay in this situation, I like this situation."

Finally, Pioli spoke about the risk of a drop in concentration as well as the next matches that await Milan, including tomorrow's match against Torino and the return leg of the Coppa Italia semifinal, as well as the expressed confidence from Paolo Maldini and the current moment of Samu Castillejo and the currently-discussed new use of VAR.

"The Coppa Italia semifinal is still open. 45 points are many but we have to improve to take home points. The next game is always the most important and decisive one. We are focused on Turin and let us win this game.

"Maldini's confidence? I have always felt the support of the management, it's nice, but I always knew what my role is and I am of the idea that you must win the trust. Feeling trust is a pleasure but it will be work and results that will determine the future.

"VAR call by coach? I disagree. The referee must do his job and the coach must do his job. I think the approach can be better but it is right that they are the referees and we are the coaches. I don't like it sincerely.

"Castillejo? My job is to make the most of the players' condition which cannot be optimal for the whole season. He had a good start with my arrival, then he had an injury that stopped his growth.

"With the arrival of Ibra, I thought of a new formation, new positions and new situations. He has the right characteristics for this role, he does it with intensity, quality and desire to work," Pioli concluded.
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