Saturday August 31 2013
Lopez: 'I learned from Allegri'

Cagliari Coach Diego Lopez insists he doesn’t feel like “a newcomer” and faces his mentor Max Allegri at Milan tomorrow.

The 39-year-old former defender spent last season as co-Coach with Ivo Pulga, but now has the necessary paperwork to be on the bench by himself.

“I don’t feel like a newcomer or someone who just started,” he told the Corriere dello Sport.

“President Massimo Cellino was the one who convinced me to become a Coach. One day he took me aside and suggested I try, then if I saw it went well I’d continue and if not he’d find another role for me in the club.

“I worked with Allegri for two years and know him well. I also worked with Marco Giampaolo, so I learned a lot from my Coaches. I think Carlo Ancelotti is the most innovative, while Luciano Spalletti did great things abroad with Zenit.”

Lopez faces Allegri on Sunday evening at San Siro, click here for a match preview of Milan-Cagliari, which kicks off at 19.45 UK time.

“It is a tough test, but we are going to Milan in order to play our game. We are in good shape and played an excellent first half against Atalanta last week,” he said of the 2-1 win.

“Mario Balotelli is a great player who can lead the attack by himself, but all of Milan is packed with international stars. There’s Riccardo Montolivo, a strong and intelligent midfielder, while Alessandro Matri just arrived.

“I don’t think we will see the same Milan performance as their defeat to Verona. I believe we’ll see the Milan from Wednesday that beat PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League.”

Andrea Cossu is back in the side after missing the Atalanta game through injury.

Cagliari squad for Milan: Agazzi, Avramov; Ariaudo, Astori, Avelar, Murru, Oikonomou, Perico, Rossettini; Cabrera, Conti, Cossu, Dessena, Ekdal, Eriksson, Nainggolan; Ibarbo, Nenè, Pinilla, Sau

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