Monday April 2 2012
Allegri wants switch in focus

Massimiliano Allegri has implored his players to forget the dropped points against Catania so as to focus fully on beating Barcelona in midweek.

The Rossoneri were held to a 1-1 draw away to the Sicilians on Saturday evening, which with Juventus winning at home to Napoli, saw their lead at the top of the table cut to two points again.

However, with the second leg of the quarter-final with Barcelona on the horizon as soon as this Tuesday, Allegri has told his players that concentration must now shift.

“The team must not think about the mistakes made in Catania,” Allegri declared to Milan’s official website.

“We go to Barcelona to play a game for a place in the semi-finals, so the players will have to think about the Champions League now. The Scudetto can wait for a few days.

“The duel with Juventus will last until the end. In their last three games they have beaten Fiorentina, Inter and Napoli, scoring 10 and not conceding in the process. However, they’re still behind us.”

The tactician took that train of thought further, suggesting that it is taking attention away from his players.

“They are doing well, but less so than us as we have two points more.

 “I think people are under-estimating that Milan are doing great things. We have two more points than we had at this stage last season.

“It would have been better to not have suffered those [refereeing] errors and had five or six points more, but the championship would still be open if that was the case.”

Allegri then looked ahead to the second leg European encounter with the Spanish.

“Given that we are playing for a place in the semi-finals of the Champions League, I’m convinced that we will play the best Barcelona of the season.

“Barcelona remain the best side in the world, but in tomorrow’s game it will be two or three key moments that we’ll have to be good at interpreting.

“I’m not making any calculations about the results at our disposal. It could even finish 0-0 and go to penalties even if I doubt that is how it will end.”

The Coach was able to name Alexandre Pato, Alessandro Nesta and Christian Abbiati in his matchday squad, so provided an update on the trio.

“I saw Pato yesterday after a month. He took part in his first training session and he’ll take part in the second tonight. I’ll evaluate things after that. You don’t need to be that fit to play 30 minutes.

“As far as I know, Abbiati has no problems. I’ll see about Nesta after he trains at the Camp Nou tonight.

“From a tactical point of view, given that we play every three days, I haven’t had the time to prepare for it properly.

“We’ll do that tonight even if we already know them well given that we played against them only last week.”