“It will be an important game, we play for our second seasonal target” AC Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri said in today’s press conference ahead of the Champions League clash versus Ajax.
“The first target, of course, was reaching the Champions League group stage. We always play to win and tomorrow will be no different, even though a draw will still grant us passage into the Round of 16. In the Champions League, all the teams play to win, because there are fewer games. By contrast, in Italy there’s more attention to tactics and the spaces are reduced. We are motivated, Ajax is a very technical team, but we must impose our play”.
Allegri then turned to the condition of some individuals, first and foremost on Balotelli: “We have a good rapport, he has extraordinary qualities and can do much more. I finally see him serene: he’s maturing and he is becoming conscious of his responsibilities. De Sciglio is returning well from injury and has an important future for club and country. El Shaarawy did well against Livorno on Saturday – I think that if he were to start tomorrow he would do well”. He also noted that Matri is returning from a fever; while Abbiati is still recovering and will return to practice on Monday.
On the team’s performance Allegri said: “I have faith in my lads, they have never betrayed me. Against Livorno we allowed too much space, I discussed this with them after. We can’t allow goals that easily, we must remain focused. The positive thing is that we continue our undefeated streak”.
When asked about his relationship with AC Milan management he said “Ever since I landed in Milan, the club has always been present and close to the team. I believe that in three and a half years of service, I have repaid their faith in me. Gattuso said that there is no space of women in football? Everyone has an opinion, I don’t like to judge”, he concluded.