Tuesday October 18 2011
Allegri demands Milan victory

Massimiliano Allegri has warned his Milan side to not underestimate BATE Borisov if they want to win their Champions League group.

The Italian giants, currently joint top of section H with Barcelona, host the Belarus minnows at San Siro on Wednesday night.

"If we want to finish first in the group then we have to win tomorrow," the tactician noted this afternoon.

"BATE defend in a very organised manner, they are a young side who counter-attack very well. We have to play with great intensity and especially technique.

"Coming top is not just a prestigious objective, but it will then allow us to take on a team that finishes second in another group.

"We have to take it one game at a time though. Let's beat BATE and then think about Barcelona."

The Italian champions have had a testing start to the season, but they recovered from a 2-0 setback at Juventus to beat Palermo 3-0 on Saturday.

"We got the game against Juventus wrong and that is also down to the merits of Juve. But we have time to recover in the championship and a nice victory arrived on Saturday.

"Yet the month ahead will be key for the championship and the Champions League," continued the former Cagliari tactician.

"The criticism of us this season? It seemed as if Milan had turned into a poor side, but that hasn't changed my evaluation – or that of Vice-President Adriano Galliani – of the team."

Milan were boosted at the weekend with the return of Brazilian international Robinho following injury.

"Robinho has extraordinary quality, while Alberto Aquilani is a class player who still has to settle even if he played well on Saturday," he added.

"I need to verify the condition of certain players like Clarence Seedorf, Thiago Silva and Mark Van Bommel. I don't think Massimo Ambrosini will be at my disposal.

"I'll decide what team to field by tomorrow morning. At the moment the only player sure of a place is goalkeeper Christian Abbiati."

On the possibility of Antonio Cassano being rested, Allegri opted to keep everyone guessing.

"I have to look at how everyone is, but it is probable that Antonio will play tomorrow. I'm happy that Cassano is doing so well and he's in great condition, but he's played a lot so far this season."

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