Massimiliano Allegri warned Milan not to get “affected by paranoia” after their dismal performance in a 5-3 defeat to Manchester City.
The Rossoneri fielded a makeshift line-up in the Audi Cup opener in Munich, but were 5-0 down after just 36 minutes.
“We did badly in the first half-hour, as there was some timidity and we didn’t put in a single tackle,” admitted Allegri on Mediaset.
“Many of the players had never been in an atmosphere like this. At this moment, with the internationals and injured out of action, we knew that we were going to run into some difficulties.
“We should’ve done better in terms of character, but then we got the game back on track and in the second half went close to making it 5-4. There are players who had a decent game today.”
The performance will cause concerns so close to the Champions League preliminary round, but Allegri defended his side.
“Jherson Vergara does not know Italian football, so he has to work. This is a process we must go through and it can go through some ugly moments, but we must be physically and tactically ready for the Champions League.
“We are a team with seven or eight players under 20, so we mustn’t get affected by paranoia after certain defeats. It was impossible in the circumstances to think of coming here and dominating Manchester City.”
Milan play the losing side of Bayern Munich-Sao Paulo in the third place play-off of the Audi Cup on Thursday, then begin a tour of America.
“In the United States we’ll have Mario Balotelli, Riccardo Montolivo and Cristian Zapata back, while Matias Silvestre will also arrive. Stephan El Shaarawy has only had four training sessions, plus Nigel de Jong and Sulley Muntari are improving their fitness levels.”