Massimiliano Allegri prepares Milan for tomorrow’s big game against Napoli, but insists their recent poor results “do not make for a disappointing season.”
The Rossoneri have already lost twice in 2012 against Inter and Lazio, confirming their dismal record against the big clubs.
“It’s a shame for those defeats, but they absolutely no not make for a disappointing season, because we are in the Coppa Italia semi-final, the Champions League second round and are one point behind this time last year.
“I thought about this, but at the end of the season if we are on top then we won’t look at how many points we picked up against Juventus, Lecce or Chievo. Winning a head-to-head such as the one with Juventus on February 25 would fire us up, but what really counts is the Scudetto on May 13.
“When a team loses, it’s normal that the Coach is the first in the dock, but we have been through worse. We need balance, as the side hasn’t lost its quality or become mediocre from one week to the next.
“There are some absentees who don’t allow me to make certain decisions, but I am in any case happy with the squad at my disposal. Everyone has an opinion in football, but the important thing is to have a balanced outlook both when things are going well and going badly.
“I can also confirm there is absolutely no problem within the locker room. Is Zlatan Ibrahimovic belly-aching? We’ve got a supply of antacids.”
There have been reports that Milan are Ibra-dependent, which is a worry considering February is traditionally his worst month.
“Ibra had a great year with him, Pato and Robinho scoring 45 goals between them. This season we’ve been without Pato and Robinho for a long while, so it’s only to be expected most of the goals are down to Ibrahimovic. Fortunately, the midfield has been very supportive.”
Napoli have also been on poor form recently and were furious after Goran Pandev’s goal was disallowed in the final minutes of their 0-0 draw with Cesena.
“They have great qualities, both as individuals and a collective, while Napoli have the characteristics to climb into the important spots of the table,” continued Allegri.
“We will play with two strikers tomorrow. Luca Antonini is more likely to start than Djamel Mesbah, but at the moment this is the only big question mark for me.
“Alexandre Pato, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Alberto Aquilani are unlikely to recover in time to face Arsenal, so I don’t want to create any false hope. They’re doing everything they can, but this is a difficult time.”