Milan Remains Focused Despite Upcoming Champions League Clash with Napoli

    Stefano Pioli says Milan are fully focused on the Serie A game against Empoli and are not distracted by the upcoming Champions League quarter-final against Napoli.

    On Wednesday, the Rossoneri host the league leaders in the first leg, but on the Friday before that big game, they will face Empoli at the San Siro.

    Milan are third in Serie A after an impressive 4-0 win over Napoli on Sunday, although Inter, Roma and Atalanta are within three points of them in a tight race for the top four.

    Pioli stressed the need for humility against 14th-placed Empoli as their league campaign remains important despite the upcoming glamor of the last eight Champions League matches.

    “It’s very important to stay on track,” he said at a press conference. “Matches are won first by attitude and determination, and then by quality.

    “We must be humble; The league is important to us and we need to capitalize on this home game.”

    He added: “We have to stay on the right track. We got an important victory in Naples, but we have to use it to play there at that level all the time. We just need to think about tomorrow.”

    When later asked how he could ignore the upcoming Champions League clash, Pioli replied: “Because the goal in the league is very important, and because otherwise the victory in Naples would have been useless.”

    The Milan head coach was also asked about former club owner Silvio Berlusconi, who is in intensive care after being diagnosed with leukemia.

    “We are all concerned, but we do not have such accurate news,” he said. “We hug him and hope he recovers and returns to the stadium.”

    Inter striker Romelu Lukaku is said to have been the victim of racist chants from Juventus fans after he equalized in a 1-1 Coppa Italia draw midweek.

    Asked if there is a problem with racism in Italian football, Pioli replied: “I don’t know. I have many friends who go to the stadium with respect, but I’m sorry because football and sports have to be lived with a different spirit.”

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