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Pioli: 'Milan can beat anyone'

  /  autty

Stefano Pioli has claimed Milan ‘can beat anyone’ and urged his fringe players to be ready, as ‘the subs will be crucial’ during the ‘tour de force’ run-in of Serie A.

Pioli replaced Marco Giampaolo in October last year and has gradually turned things around at San Siro, with the club currently fighting for a place in Europe next term.

Milan have impressed since the return to action and has only conceded once in three games this month, culminating in an important 2-0 win against Roma on Sunday.

Pioli’s men start July with an away game in Ferrara tomorrow, hoping to continue their perfect record in Serie A since the resumption, but the coach stressed it will not come for free.

“It takes time to develop, it took work and sacrifice to bring through our ideas,” he said at a press conference. “We have an important tour de force with 30 points available.

“We have to keep focused. The substitutes will be crucial in every game, and the fact that we have five subs gives us more solutions.

“We are not happy with our position in the table, we can beat anyone.”

The 54-year-old praised his star players and confirmed that Zlatan Ibrahimovic could return against SPAL on Wednesday.

He also pointed out the importance of Turkey international Hakan Calhanoglu in the next games and claimed goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma is among the top three in the world.

“Ibrahimovic is doing well psychologically, he’s a lion. Yesterday, he had a good training session. If he has another one tonight and he gives me the signal, then I can pick him for Ferrara.

“Calhanoglu has the quality to be decisive in the final outcome. He can become a top player, not just an excellent one.

“Donnarumma must keep the team alive and attentive, he is progressing a lot on this aspect. He’s among the top two or three goalkeepers in the world.”

Milan aim for another three points when they play against relegation-threatened SPAL at 20:45 GMT tomorrow.