Marco Giampaolo is not concerned by the fact that Milan failed to score for two consecutive games and is pleased with the work his players are doing.
Giampaolo is still without a win in pre-season as after drawing Novara 1-1 and losing 1-0 to Bayern Munich, Milan also lost 1-0 to Benfica last night.
Milan used a rather strong line-up and played some excellent football at times during the game, especially in the first half. They pressed well and attacked in ways that were different from last year and it is clear that there is a new coach in town. In the end, however, the game was decided after Taarabt’s shot took a deflection off Biglia and beat Reina.
“The result doesn’t say anything because it doesn’t show the attitude that the team had,” Giampaolo said in the post-game presser. “For as long as that attitude was on show, I liked what I saw from the team. In terms of how we played, this isn’t a defeat. We played in attack, looking to dominate the play. The guys did very well and went beyond my expectations. This is the first piece, we did a lot of things better compared to the first match, both on and off the ball. We did better and I’m happy, I like how the team is doing the work and the result doesn’t change anything for me.
“The defense? The work must be done, not a little work but a lot. We have to get used to seeing a team that folds back in the defensive phase every time we can’t get the ball back high up the pitch, and not have eleven players below the line of the ball in the middle of the pitch. The attack? We created a lot in attack, I’ve kept track of all the chances created and I’m not worried that we haven’t scored. We’ll look at our mistakes and fix them to get better.
“The experience in the United States? The team has worked very well and I’m happy. They are carrying out a thought and they are doing it with respect to my indications, the next games will help us to improve our conditioning, chemistry and game management. There is work to be done and we need to integrate the recovering players and those on vacation as best we can.
“With respect to my prediction, the team is further ahead than I expected because the players have great quality. The instructions don’t need to be repeated ad infinitum because they understand, take things on and easily apply what I ask.
“The spirit is good, I liked what I saw from Borini, Çalhanoğlu and Biglia and I liked the midfield in general. We made some mistakes but we’ll look and review them.”
Speaking to MilanTV, Giampaolo said: “The result is not a problem, if the team hadn’t tried to interpret a thought then it would have been a problem. For 60 minutes I saw an idea of playing, I liked the team even though I know there is still a lot to work on. The team wasn’t running backwards but forwards. I liked the team, there are things to review but the guys did well.
“Improvements? Some things must be done better, but the idea of play is this. We did better than in the first game against Bayern Munich in both phases. We were more in order, the defensive order is the son of the offensive order. We have taken a step forward.
“The team? I believe that if you enjoy yourself then you can run with more pleasure. If you don’t enjoy yourself then it’s harder. If you win you have fun but now the important thing is to build the conditions for winning. We have to go on like this and continue to work.”