HomeSerie AMilan have conceded too many goals, says Pioli

Milan have conceded too many goals, says Pioli

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football – Champions League – Group E – FC Salzburg v AC Milan – Red Bull Arena Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria – September 6, 2022 AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

(Reuters) – AC Milan have conceded too many goals but need to improve all over the pitch, not just at the back, coach Stefano Pioli said on Friday.

The defending Serie A champions fought back from a goal down to earn a 3-2 win over local rivals Inter Milan last weekend, while on Tuesday they drew 1-1 at Austrian side Salzburg in their Champions League opener.

Milan have kept two clean sheets this season and while they remain unbeaten, they have won only three of their six matches in all competitions, conceding six goals.

“We have conceded a few goals too many,” Pioli said ahead of their Serie A match against Sampdoria on Saturday.

“The whole team needs to improve, not just the defence. On Tuesday we had to do better on the goal.

“We have to play all the games with intensity. We have to give everything, we cannot afford to finish the games with any energy left.”

The manager, however, is happy with the way Milan’s recent signings have slotted into the team.

Defender Sergino Dest and midfielder Aster Vranckx, on loan from Barcelona and VfL Wolfsburg, respectively, joined Milan on transfer deadline day. Defender Malick Thiaw signed from Bundesliga side Schalke 04 days earlier.

“They are working and growing. They know their team mates better. They are very helpful guys,” Pioli said.

“They only arrived a few days ago. I don’t know if anyone will be ready for tomorrow, but the important thing is that they are strong players.

“Then some of them will go to their national teams. I would be happier to have them here with us.”

Milan’s most expensive summer signing Charles De Ketelaere has also fitted in well, starting two of the five Serie A fixtures.

“Charles is doing everything I am asking of him, he’s fitting in more and more and better and better, I’m happy with his performance. Then he needs the time… but I see a calm player,” Pioli said.

“We can look for him a little more… He has to learn to go deeper.”

The manager also hinted at more playing time for former Liverpool striker Divock Origi.

“It may be his moment. He played, he put minutes in his legs. He needs to play,” Pioli added.

(Reporting by Anita Kobylinska in Gdansk; Editing by Toby Davis)