Monday September 17 2012
Milan boss Allegri remains upbeat

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri is confident his side can start their Champions League campaign with a win – despite their desperate season so far.

The Diavolo have lost two of their first three Serie A games – both at the Stadio Meazza which will host Tuesday’s European Cup game against Anderlecht.

“I’m hopeful and calm because I am convinced that we can get our first home win of the season, even against a side who we respect,” he stated.

“Anderlecht have a great history, they’ve often been involved in these types of games so we’ll need to play with balance and patience for 95 minutes – without feeling the need to find a goal quickly.

“Anderlecht are a well organised side, physically strong and we must therefore be in the right frame of mind to face them.

“We have an important game tomorrow, one that we must win. There are no easy games anymore and the result is all that counts.”

Milan were much criticised in the summer for their sales policy and their stuttering start to the campaign isn’t helping matters.

“It was obvious that we would have some difficulties, perhaps not as many as we have had,” Allegri added. “We can’t think negatively though. We have to remain focused, not talk and let the results speak.

“To win, as we did in the first year, you have to win the games in which you don’t play well. But we have done some good work here over the last two seasons.

“We are still in a position to fight, but, for now, let us think about the Champions League.”

The lack of results has led to the expectation that Allegri is also playing to save his job, but the tactician has highlighted that 2011-12 also started slowly.

“Despite this period where we haven’t started the season in the best possible way, we have one more point than we had at the same stage last season.

“We have to play with positivity, but we have to improve tactically too. Perhaps we’ll change shape, but for now we will stick to 4-3-1-2.

“We didn’t play in a spectacular fashion against Sampdoria and Atalanta, but we were dangerous and conceded two goals in the few occasions that our opponents attacked.

“President Silvio Berlusconi? There has been a lot of rubbish written about my relationship with Berlusconi. I’m coaching a side that was built in unison with the club. It’s a new team which needs time.”

On the possibility that Tuesday’s match could be his last, Allegri stated: “If you don't get the results then it's normal that the Coach pays for it. But I still think that we’ll grow.”

The former Cagliari boss added that he had yet to pick his starting XI, but did suggest that Riccardo Montolivo would not be risked after injury.