Giampaolo: ‘Piatek must be complete’

Marco Giampaolo urges Krzysztof Piatek to be “a complete player, not just a pirate in the final third” as Milan visit Hellas Verona.

It kicks off on Sunday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT), click here for a match preview.

“I am confident that things will improve with hard work and enthusiasm,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

Marco Giampaolo urges Krzysztof Piatek to be “a complete player, not just a pirate in the final third” as Milan visit Hellas Verona.

It kicks off on Sunday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT), click here for a match preview.

“I am confident that things will improve with hard work and enthusiasm,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“I admire the dedication they show in training and I feel they are increasingly becoming a team. I want to make our identity clearer at all times, in attack and defence.

“It doesn’t concern me that Verona is traditionally a tough place for Milan to play in, as I don’t really believe in these things. The team must fight for victory in any arena. It’s the attitude that makes the difference and I see the right approach now.

“I expect it to be an intense match and we must control the ball well, making the most of possession. We can never underestimate any opponent, as there is the smallest, practically invisible line dividing victory and defeat.

“I try to give a mentality, while the players bring their qualities. I like a team that controls the ball and plays real football, but details can make the difference at this level.

“After 70 days of work, I know how we need to play and all I did was move Suso back to his favourite position and bring Samu Castillejo to a more central role. I do remain convinced Suso can play as a trequartista, but right now he’ll be in his favoured spot on the right.”

The biggest problems had by Milan are in attack, where Piatek remains a shadow of the breakout star we saw last season. He was even dropped in favour of Andre Silva for the 1-0 win over Udinese.

“I liked him over the last three days,” assured Giampaolo. “Piatek shouldn’t just focus on attacking in the final third like a pirate, he ought to be more of a complete player.

“We are Milan, we can’t always just pump long balls up, we need to pass it around. He knows how to do it, I’ve seen him in training, he just has to play like a complete player. Goals mustn’t be an obsession either, he should focus on playing well and the goals will come as a consequence.”

Lucas Paqueta is another player who seems to have lost his way a little since Giampaolo replaced Gennaro Gattuso.

“He can play as a trequartista or a midfielder, I’ll choose depending on the game, but his characteristics are mainly suited to midfield.

“I don’t like it when people criticise Castillejo, as he is a hard worker and I am trying to put together 11 players who suit each other. I don’t look at their price-tag, their age, their salary when choosing a starting XI. I can only choose 11 at a time and the hierarchy depends on the daily work I see in training.”

Theo Hernandez has now recovered, although Giampaolo warns he “won’t play tomorrow,” while Ante Rebic joined on deadline day from Eintracht Frankfurt.

“Rebic says his ideal role is out wide on the left, but with Croatia he has also played as a centre-forward or on the right. He’s in good shape physically.

“We’ll start either Lucas Biglia or Ismael Bennacer, not together. Our slogan has not changed, we’ve got to keep our heads up and play football.”

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