Pioli says Milan must not put cart before horse in title race

AC Milan, top of the standings on 63 points, is three points ahead of second-placed Napoli and four ahead of defending champions Inter Milan, who is third with one game in hand.

AC Milan's coach Stefano Pioli.   -  AP

AC Milan must take one game at a time and have wits about it when it faces relegation-threatened Cagliari on Saturday, coach Stefano Pioli said, as his side continue its quest for its first Serie A title since 2011.

Milan, top of the standings on 63 points, is three points ahead of second-placed Napoli and four ahead of defending champions Inter Milan, who is third with one game in hand.

"We must not put the cart before the horse. Virtually we are only one point ahead of Inter, perhaps Atalanta will lose a few points," Pioli told a news conference on Friday.

"The traps and obstacles are still many. There are still many games, if we think too far we lose our reality of the moment. And this must not happen.

"It's tomorrow that counts. For the first four (teams in the standings) the games are very open, every match is at the crossroads."

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While Cagliari is hovering above the relegation zone in 17th place on 25 points, Pioli stressed that it would make for difficult opponents, as Milan is looking to extend its unbeaten run in all competitions to 10 games.

"We know the difficulties. Cagliari have stopped Napoli," he said. "(We) need a performance with intensity and quality, because Cagliari play very aggressive football."

"We will have to play our football. We will have to be continuous, attentive and lucid for the whole 95 minutes. We're fine (physically) and we're fine with our heads. It's the most important thing."

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