Pioli hails Milan ‘mental strength’

by | May 23, 2021 22:46

Stefano Pioli praises Milan’s ‘mental strength’ after they beat Atalanta 2-0 to secure Champions League qualification and muses on their away record.

The Rossoneri needed a victory to be sure of a top four finish and they did it, with a pair of Franck Kessie penalties to beat Atalanta 2-0.

“We achieved it because we deserved it and we deserved second place, for how we played all season,” Pioli told Sky Sport Italia.

Stefano Pioli praises Milan’s ‘mental strength’ after they beat Atalanta 2-0 to secure Champions League qualification and muses on their away record.

The Rossoneri needed a victory to be sure of a top four finish and they did it, with a pair of Franck Kessie penalties to beat Atalanta 2-0.

“We achieved it because we deserved it and we deserved second place, for how we played all season,” Pioli told Sky Sport Italia.

“Unfortunately, we threw away the match point last Sunday against Cagliari, but we still earned it. I am truly happy and must thank the club that allowed us to work in the best possible environment. Once again, the players, directors, staff and fans all proved what it means to be at Milan.”

Once again, the Rossoneri performed better away from home than at San Siro.

“We did wonder why that happened, but and tried to evaluate the situation. Perhaps we just lack individual moves when the opposition clam up in defence, so we are stronger when there are more spaces to play in.

“I heard some people say at the start of the season that we did better without the fans creating pressure, but I don’t believe that is true at all. We can only imagine what it would’ve felt like with the enthusiasm of the supporters growing at San Siro.

“What the fans did this morning also showed how much they believed and they passed that passion on to us.”

Milan really were on the chopping block here, as they needed a victory to secure the Champions League spot.

“I did think that if we didn’t get the top four, it’d be a very difficult summer…” confessed Pioli.

“The real strength of this team is that we don’t back down in difficult moments. I am very proud of the mental strength that was shown by this team, and that grew over the course of the campaign.

“We were without Zlatan Ibrahimovic for 19 out of 38 games, so naturally that made a big difference.”

Finally, he had a special dedication, as today is Pioli’s 34th wedding anniversary, but he spent it in Bergamo.

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