MASSIMILIANO ALLEGRI believes Milan will have a Champions League approach against Udinese and targets a win.
Many believe that Milan’s chances of finishing in the top 3 this season are almost zero as they are 11 points off the desired seat just seven rounds into Serie A but the Rossoneri will continue to play in hope to snatch that place in late May.
If Milan are to make a comeback (they are currently 12th), they will need to start picking up points, starting from tomorrow when they face Udinese at Stadio San Siro. Milan will be without Balotelli, but the fans will be at the stadium.
“I would have preferred to play the game both with the fans in the stadium and Balotelli on the pitch but we’ll have to do without Balotelli,” Allegri said. “It’s the fourth match he’s missed. He’ll see the doctor on Monday and we’ll decide if he can play on Tuesday, although it’s unlikely. It’ll be better if Balotelli plays. Barcelona? The most important game is tomorrow.
We have 8 points and we’re 12th in the league. It won’t be an easy game as it never is against Udinese although every year they sell their best players. They have a well-organized game and a great coach in Guidolin. Di Natale up front is always ready to score. We’ll have to be careful and patient. We have to cut out the mistakes that we’ve been paying for so far this season. We’ve been together for the past day and we’ve used that time to study certain situations where we’ve to improve.
“The team is focused. Football is a team game and we’ll have to play as a team. The team work brings out the best of individuals. The players have done well in certain games like against Napoli and Torino. We need more concentration. Compared to last year, we’re improving as a team but of course if we’ve conceded 13 goals then there’s something not right. If we let in two goals, we can’t think about always winning matches and it’s a question of focus. We have to work on this in certain situations, playing more as a team. When we show the videos to the lads, they realize the mistakes they’ve made.
“Kakà, Silvestre and Birsa are all back fit and Kakà will start from the bench,” continued the former coach of Sassuolo and Cagliari Calcio.“Bonera has suffered a setback in his comeback from injury. Pazzini is already back running. In terms of muscular injuries, we’re about average but when you play every three days, there’s an higher possibility of getting hurt.
“It’s good to have six players that play internationals but the more important games you play, the easier it is to pick up injuries. Silvestre should play as he’s worked well this week. I think Kakà has at most 30 minutes of match time in his legs. We have to bring him back slowly. The team always does well when we’re in emergencies. Silvestre is a player who’s done well when called upon in friendly matches against big sides. He has international experience and I have a lot of faith in him.
“I have to make the team understand, and I think they do, that winning or losing a game of football can be a question of centimeters. The team will have a different attitude tomorrow as they’ve had in the Champions League matches we’ve played. Antonio Di Natale is a great player and despite his age, he can score goals at any moment. They have Luis Muriel as well who’s fast and technical. It’ll be a tough game as they’re a tough team to face. It might even be an ugly game but we have to win tomorrow against Udinese. At the moment we just have to look at ourselves and focus on winning.
“Balotelli? Balotelli is a media magnet as well as a great player and so he has to try and manage his life as best he can. He’s 23 years old and he has to understand quickly that he’s not just another 23 year old and certain sacrifices have to made, just as when he’s in training. It’s not possible to prohibit Twitter and the club has no big problems with these things.
“But there have to be rules that are followed by everyone. We have a lot of faith in the national side and if they let him play, they must have declared him ready. He pulled out of training yesterday because of a pain in his thigh. I’m happy to have 6 internationals on my team. After 4 years with the club, I’m used to certain situations. I’m sued to analyzing what’s not going well and making it work in one way or another. It’s important for me to have Balotelli on the pitch and as for his life off the pitch, I can give him advice but so can the club and his agent Raiola. Balotelli has never injured himself with Milan.
“I can’t see De Sciglio starting against Barcelona. The President is always close to the team and I hope we can give him some joy. The team is very focused and they owe a lot to the club and the President Silvio Berlusconi, but also the fans who have always been behind them. Adil Rami? He is an important player, an international with great personality. Gabriel? He is a great keeper but at the moment, Abbiati is our man.” Gabriel was the MOTM in the 3-0 friendly defeat to Caen.
According to Allegri and the Italian media, the XI tomorrow will most likely consist of Christian Abbiati, Abate, Zapata, Silvestre, Constant, Andrea Poli, Riccardo Montolivo, Sulley Muntari, Valter Birsa, Alessandro Matri and Robinho.