Football Soccer Milans Pioli fully focused on season end
Football Soccer Milans Pioli fully focused on season end

Football: Soccer-Milan’s Pioli fully focused on season end

(Reuters) – AC Milan’s disappointing campaign has put Stefano Pioli under scrutiny, but he is fully concentrated on a positive end to the season despite speculation regarding his future and protesting fans, the manager said on Saturday.

Milan are second in the Serie A standings, but are 19 points adrift of champions Inter Milan, and their fans suffered witnessing their arch-rivals secure the Scudetto in the recent derby win at the San Siro.

That has only increased media reports about Pioli’s dismissal once the season ends.

“My task shouldn’t be complicated, there are four games left,” Pioli told a press conference before Sunday’s home game against Genoa.

“It’s true that outside they talk about everything except the games, but not us. We have a great sense of responsibility. Then we’ll see what the future is at the end of the season.”

Pioli was asked about reports linking him with the Napoli job.

“No thoughts, other than the next four games. At the end of the season, I’ll meet with Milan and we’ll see what to do,” Pioli said.

“You’ve waited a long time, wait a little longer to talk about the future, the work is not done. The reality is I have another year on my contract with Milan and I won’t speak to any other club while I’m under contract.”

The atmosphere is tense around the club, and Milan ultras have announced they will not support the team against Genoa, remaining in silence without any banners or flags, as a form of protest against the club owners.

“Our fans have always been an added value, especially in difficult moments. And I don’t forget it,” Pioli said.

“They have taken this position and we respect it, then we have to do everything to win the game.”

Milan have a five-point lead over Juventus in third and Genoa are 12th on 42 points, out of relegation danger.

(Reporting by Trevor Stynes, editing by Ed Osmond)

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