Monday April 9 2012
Season is still long, says Allegri

Milan are still on course to retain the Italian championship, boss Massimiliano Allegri has said on the eve of the Chievo game.

The Rossoneri lost top spot to Juventus on Saturday following a shock 2-1 home loss to Fiorentina, but Allegri is remaining optimistic.

“I would have preferred to stay out in first place rather than have to chase, but it doesn’t mean that the Scudetto race is over,” he noted on Monday.

“The championship was long for Juventus when they were behind us and we were in front. It’s still long now.

“After just a few games of the season we were six points behind Juventus. Nothing has been compromised.”

Milan took the lead against the Viola, but the struggling Tuscans hit back with goals from Stevan Jovetic and Amauri.

“I’m not worried,” continued the Coach. “We had difficulties on Saturday because the pitch didn’t make things easy for us.

“We were up against a Fiorentina side who played well and we were not at our best. We have injuries and suspensions, but that is no excuse. We want to win the championship.”

The Diavolo, one point behind the Old Lady, will resume their campaign at the Stadio Bentegodi on Tuesday evening.

“The game in Verona is important after our slip on Saturday – we need to make sure that everyone in the squad is aware of that.

“Chievo’s season is not over. They still want to ensure their survival and we’ll have to be very good tomorrow.”

Allegri added that he still has to make his mind up over the fitness of some players, but ruled out an Antonio Cassano start.

“Mark Van Bommel trained yesterday, but we’ll have to see how he is,” he added. “Alessandro Nesta is fine.

“Cassano? Players are not machines. Cassano was out for five months. He’s only completed two and a half training sessions since and he’s played just 15 minutes. It will take time for him to start a game.”

The Italian international had heart surgery in late 2011 and he returned to action on Saturday afternoon.