AC Milan boss Pioli 'confident for the future' after Napoli draw
AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli said he felt "confident for the future" after his side battled to a 1-1 draw with Napoli at San Siro.
Giacomo Bonaventura scored his first goal in more than a year to cancel out Hirving Lozano's opener and earn Milan a point in Saturday's Serie A clash.
The Rossoneri have won just one of six matches since Pioli replaced Marco Giampaolo last month, but the ex-Fiorentina boss was pleased with his team's latest display.
"We played a good game, despite the absentees and other difficulties," he said at his post-match news conference.
"I am seeing great determination and awareness and I'm confident for the future, but there is still a long way to go.
"I have only been working here for 45 days. You cannot say that the team does not fight.
"We all feel the sense of urgency to win games and we have the possibility to do that in our next matches, though it will not be easy."
Milan have collected just 14 points from their opening 13 matches and are down in 13th, 10 points adrift of the Champions League qualification spots.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic continues to be linked with a return to the club he represented between 2010 and 2012, but Pioli reiterated that he is not looking ahead to the transfer window.
"In January we will see," he said. "Tomorrow we go back to work because from here until then there are 12 more points available."
412 - Giacomo Bonaventura has scored a Serie A goal after 412 days, his last goal dated back to 7th October 2018. Return. #MilanNapoli— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) November 23, 2019
A major positive for Pioli was the performance of Bonaventura, who marked his second Serie A start of the season with a first goal since October 2018, driving home a fine 20-yard strike.
"He is not only strong but also very intelligent," Pioli said. "He knows where to move and when to do it. 'Jack' played for 90 minutes and did very well."
Next up for Milan are back-to-back away trips to Parma and Bologna, with left-back Theo Hernandez hoping to build some momentum from those matches.
"This was a very important point for us," Hernandez told Sky Sport Italia. "We knew it would be complicated against a good opponent, but now we have to win games.
"Milan cannot stay where we are in the table. We have to concentrate on the matches ahead and take it one step at a time to improve game by game."Modified 21 Dec 2019, 01:08 IST