A double from Theo Hernandez in injury-time earned a point for Milan and maintained their undefeated record.
“It remains an off night, as we are having some difficulties, especially Gabbia and Bennacer injuries," Pioli told Sky Sport Italia.
“As for the game, for the first time I'd say we didn't have the right approach and were a little sluggish. Parma did very well on the counter, we could've equalised earlier and didn't, but this is a team with heart and desire. It's fine.
“Clearly, we wanted to win and we had the chances to do so. Parma had two shots on goal, but we also made mistakes on those two goals.
“We weren't as sharp in the second half, but that can happen when you are putting so much spirit into the chase, throwing men into the box and trying to get it back on track."
He added: “Parma deserve credit for making the most of their forwards, who have a lot of pace and are good at one-on-one situations. However, on the first goal, there's clearly more of us in the box than Parma players, yet we got hunched up and didn't cover the spaces," continued Pioli.
“We had a lot of chances and should've scored earlier, it might've been a different game if we had, but it remains a genuine positive step forward in terms of mentality and character to get this back on track.
“The sensation I get is that the team is not happy with the draw, and that means we expect more of ourselves and are raising the bar. We had the quality, intelligence and intensity to bring home an important point."