NEWS
Tuesday September 27 2011
Allegri has Ibrahimovic hope

Massimiliano Allegri warns Milan's match with Viktoria Plzen “will not be easy,” especially as Zlatan Ibrahimovic needs a last-minute fitness test.

The Rossoneri notched up their first win of the Serie A season on Saturday, beating Cesena 1-0 at San Siro, but are still in the middle of an injury crisis.

“Tomorrow it will not be an easy game, because Viktoria Plzen are a side who did very well in the preliminary round and have good quality, both as a unit and individuals,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“If we want to validate the draw with Barcelona, then tomorrow we have to start winning.”

Ibrahimovic returned to training on Monday, but it remains to be seen if he can feature.

“He'll only play from the start if he's in good shape and has a good training session. I'll see how he does and then decide if we'll play with one striker or two.

“At this moment Clarence Seedorf knows there's no time to rest and when I get the chance he will be able to take time out. He is 35 years old, but is still in peak condition because he is an exemplary professional and an example for young players.

“Tomorrow the only player who can recover is Ibrahimovic, though Daniele Bonera is much better and could possibly be at our disposal.”

The likes of Alexandre Pato, Robinho, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Gennaro Gattuso, Mathieu Flamini and Philippe Mexes are out, though there is hope for Luca Antonini and Massimo Ambrosini.

“We must have the right attitude with focus, spirit of sacrifice and good technique, which is what we did at the start of this season regardless of the unfair criticism,” continued Allegri.

“We paid a heavy price for some mistakes, but also proved we can control the tempo, so we've got to think positive. It's important to top the group, as then we'd be able to face one of the runners-up in the next round.

“We must pick up as many points as possible so we can reach the face-to-face with Barcelona on level terms and gamble it all in that game.

“The victory over Cesena gave us confidence in a time where we were missing results rather than performances. We have great respect for Viktoria and will need a great, very intense game.”

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