Tuesday September 18 2012
Allegri: 'A small step forward'

Massimiliano Allegri insisted the 0-0 with Anderlecht was “a small step forward” for Milan and explained his choice of starting XI.

“I’d say we made a lot of technical mistakes in the first half. It’s not an easy moment and of course the pressure is on to win every game,” said the Coach.

“After the break the team found more courage and created some important scoring opportunities. We are using up some mental energy that with a victory would make things easier.

“We must continue working and improve on those aspects that need improving. I think getting tense and talking too much would not be helpful.

“My lads played with effort, courage and intensity, while Anderlecht never had a shot on target. It is a small step forward, as we kept a clean sheet, so now we’ve got to score against Udinese.”

Milan started with Kevin-Prince Boateng and Urby Emanuelson behind Giampaolo Pazzini, but it was when Stephan El Shaarawy replaced the Ghanaian that things improved.

“The first tactical system was not shelved. In an important game at a moment like this we needed a denser midfield with players who run into space, but we didn’t manage that.

“It went better after the break, but that was not to do with the tactics. We need to have a little more courage. We weren’t phenomenons who could win every match before, but we’re not disaster areas now.

“The positives are that we did not allow any clear scoring opportunities, but the negative is that we wasted some good chances and at the moment that’s just the way things are going. My lads did the most they could in a moment that is not easy.

“Our opponents seem to score with their only chance, so we were worried towards the end that Anderlecht would get a lucky winner.”

Allegri looked to the injuries for Alexandre Pato, Robinho and Riccardo Montolivo.

“It’s only normal that Montolivo is the player who can give us more quality in midfield, while Robinho can get past his man. We are missing the three most quality-led players in the squad, so of course that’s going to change the way we approach the game.

“It’s a shame, as a victory would’ve been important for the lads tonight, as it’s certainly not a positive moment psychologically. I still think we’re on the right path and am relaxed, just as I was before the game.

“Montolivo will return on Saturday and everything does not have to be thrown in the bin. It is a growth process and we’ve got to speed it up.”