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AC Milan coach Pioli on Newcastle: Tomori will be back; I'll hug Tonali

AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli is confident his players won't be affected by their derby thrashing when meeting Newcastle tomorrow.

Milan meet Newcastle in their Champions League opener days after being thumped 5-1 by Inter Milan.

He said this morning: "It's normal that we had a lot of expectations about the derby, we arrived convinced and the disappointment It was strong. Luckily, starting today we're thinking about tomorrow's match, the Champions League resumes and we have a tough group. We have to face it in the best way."

How did he get into his players' heads?

"I coach a group that is aware and responsible, but also strong. We live with these emotions, positive and negative. We are aware that it is only the beginning of the season and that we can do much better. At this moment little is needed to talk and a lot to demonstrate. We have the chance to have a good season."

A triple return: Tonali in Milan, the Champions League and Ibra, who came to visit you.

"It's exciting to play the Champions League, this is true, we know what it means for our club. We are happy to play this match, I will very gladly hug Sandro: he has given us a lot and we have grown a lot together. Zlatan was supposed to come on Friday and he came today, he's one of ours, when he's here with us he's always nice and positive."

Is Tomori coming back?

"Tomori comes back and then we'll see, there are many possibilities. We played the derby a few days ago, AC Milan will be different tactically given that Newcastle are a different team, a very English team, very aggressive and who takes space well"

What have you learned that you can put into practice tomorrow?

"Tomorrow will be a different type of match, the defenders will not have equal numbers, it will be different situations but every match teaches us something. In terms of cunning and attention we certainly paid off and it is a lesson that we must certainly take with us."

Is the goal to improve on last year's progress?

"It's a tough group, with a lot of balance. PSG are favourites, all the other teams are at an excellent level and starting well would be important."

Is Ibrahimovic's visit just as a friend or is there room for another role?

"Certainly at the moment he is a friend, after that I don't know. He is enjoying his family, we talked a bit but I don't think he has clear ideas about his future. Whatever he does I know he will be successful, we are talking about a person with intelligence above the norm."

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