Pioli puts AC Milan success down to 'magical air'

Head coach Stefano Pioli says it felt like he had joined "a big family" on the day he took charge of resurgent Serie A leaders Milan.

Pioli: Milan flying due to magical air

Stefano Pioli says a "magical air" at Milan has enabled the Rossoneri to become a force again ahead of the Serie A clash with Parma on Sunday.

Milan are four points clear at the top of Serie A and qualified for the last 32 of the Europa League as Group H winners with a 1-0 victory at Sparta Prague on Thursday.

Seven-time European champions Milan have not won the scudetto since 2011, but they have been transformed under Pioli.

The head coach feels he took over a club finally ready to challenge for honours once again.

He said in a press conference on Friday: "I felt like a big family as soon as I set foot in Milanello. The club is making important efforts to allow us to work well. Here you can breathe a unique, almost magical air. 

"Here you are always motivated and you are driven to give your best day by day. The club supports us in every way to make us work at our best.

"I think we made the leap in quality when we started beating the teams that were ahead of us in the standings. From there we have further strengthened, never being satisfied but always trying to grow and improve."

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (hamstring) and Simon Kjaer (thigh) will not be risked when Milan, unbeaten in Serie A, go in search of a fifth consecutive win in all competitions at the expense of Parma at San Siro.

Pioli revealed the key duo could return for the trip to Genoa next Wednesday.

"Ibra and Kjaer are proceeding well in recovering from their injuries, their desire is to be there on Wednesday against Genoa," he said. 

"However, the staff and I must evaluate their conditions well, we too hope to have them as soon as possible but we must not risk anything."