SERIE A

Milan boss Pioli wants more from match-winner Suso

Suso responded to being benched by coming on to score the winner for AC Milan against SPAL but head coach Stefano Pioli wants more.

Pioli wants more from Milan match-winner Suso

Stefano Pioli challenged Suso to contribute to AC Milan's collective endeavours after the benched forward came on to net a superb winner against SPAL. Suso's 63rd-minute free-kick was the only goal of the game in a 1-0 victory at San Siro on Thursday, giving Pioli the first win of his fledgling reign at the third attempt and lifting the Rossoneri into the top half of the Serie A table.

Suso turns on the style against SPAL

Without a goal since the end of last season and increasingly the focus of criticism from supporters, Suso was taken out of the firing line as his fellow Spaniard Samu Castillejo started against struggling SPAL in the 13th minute. He made way for the former Liverpool youngster shortly afterwards and a moment of sumptuous, game-breaking quality followed.

"He is a great quality player, I think he can do more," Milan head coach Pioli told Sky. "I'm happy to have players with these characteristics but we have to start thinking as a team, not as individuals."

Pioli was pleased to see plenty of the common spirit he desired during a contest that was rarely as easy on the eye as its decisive moment. "I'm happy for the players, for the fans and for the club," he said. "I asked the team for the spirit and there it was. I saw the right one. We gave little away [but] kept the result in hovering until the end. Now we must immediately concentrate on the next game."

Milan's Suso celebrates his strike against SPAL

Tough games coming up for Milan

Lazio and Napoli are next on the agenda at San Siro, either side of a trip to Serie A champions Juventus. "We will have to fight like today," Pioli added, when addressing the daunting schedule to come. Being worried means putting in the right attention. Now let's recover energy. I'm sure the team is growing. We must recharge ourselves physically and mentally."