AC Milan coach Stefano Pioli believed Sunday’s meeting with AS Roma will be a head-to-head clash for a top four spot in Serie A and insisted his players won’t be affected by recent criticism.

The Rossoneri is without a win in four matches in all competitions and fell four points behind rivals Inter in the league standings after a 3-0 Milan derby defeat last weekend.

Milan travels to the Italian capital in second place, four points ahead of their fourth-placed hosts.

“Last year there were fewer teams fighting, this year they are all up there,” Pioli told a news conference.

“Roma are doing very well, it’s an important game, a head-to-head clash. The points are worth more, we’re starting a very busy three weeks. It’s time to push and to test ourselves,” he added.

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