AC Milan coach Pioli happy with manner of victory over Atalanta

AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli was delighted with the manner of victory over Atalanta.

Theo Hernandez and Junior Messias struck for the 2-0 win.

“We had won the other three games 1-0, but can’t always hope to keep a clean sheet, so we should’ve finished it earlier,” Pioli told DAZN.

“It was a great performance and finally we played with the energy I recognise from my players. That is the most important aspect. We needed to have a sense of consistency, as we had never won four in a row this season, and we know the difficulties of facing a side like Atalanta.

“We worked as a team, played with intensity, sacrificed ourselves and kept the ball well too. I saw only positives today, but it’s a long season still and we need more points to secure a top four spot.

“Unfortunately, nothing happened, in that we had no doubts or problems on the unity of the side. Otherwise it would’ve been easy to have a meeting and talk it out. The fact is, some defeats sapped us of confidence and enthusiasm, but now we have regained all those elements. Positive results help everything go better, it’s that simple.

“We will never be unbeatable, but we are back to playing with our characteristics and our attitude, so with a better chance of winning games.”

On the fitness of the players, Pioli added: “The statistics have remained the same and so has our approach, the players recognise and appreciate our methods. I will always believe the mind commands the legs and our heads were heavy, something we were not accustomed to in recent years, when we had few negative periods.

“We raised the expectations around ourselves and perhaps we paid for that when things started to go wrong.”

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