Allegri defiant over tactical tinkering

02 November 2012 05:47

Embattled AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri has defended the tactical and personnel switches that have prompted criticism from club owner Silvio Berlusconi.

Seven-times European champions Milan finished Serie A runners-up last season but currently sit a lowly 12th, 17 points behind leaders and champions Juventus.

Allegri lost the spine of his squad during the summer, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva to Paris Saint Germain, and although he has made several signings Milan are a pale shadow of the side that the Italian coach led to the scudetto in his first season in charge in 2010-2011.

Consequently, Allegri has been making almost weekly changes as injured players, such as Brazilians Alexandre Pato and Robinho, return and new signings like Nigel De Jong and Bojan Krkic are given their opportunity to make an impression.

Against Palermo Allegri switched tactical formations several times as he sought to overhaul a 2-0 deficit. His tinkering ultimately worked, as Stephan El Shaarawy scored late in the game to pull the scores level, but he awoke to news that an unimpressed Berlusconi had called club CEO Adriano Galliani to register his concern.

Allegri, however, says he will stick to his gameplan.

"I always give explanations for the choices I make and I'm convinced that I've done well by leaving out (midfielder Urby) Emanuelson at the start against Palermo," Allegri told on Friday.

"I have to accept the criticism because the results aren't coming but it's not as if I change the formation for fun. I know that, the club knows it and we're together on this."

Milan host Chievo at the San Siro in Saturday's early match and Allegri says a win is a must if they are to prepare well for Tuesday's Champions League date at home to Malaga - who dominated the first leg on their way to a 1-0 win in Spain.

"We're all together in trying to get out of this moment that we're in and get back up the table, that's why the game against Chievo is so important. We need the third result in a row to go into next week's Champions League match as well," he added.

Allegri admitted the loss of several key players in the summer had not made his job easier this season, but said Milan were looking at this squad long term.

"This season is different to the two previous ones. A team has to be built that can compete for the top three places in the years to come and the club is building the foundations for the future.

"The team will grow. At the moment we have some difficulties but the club is well aware that even if we're struggling this year, next year the team will be back fighting for the top three positions."

He added: "I didn't talk to President Berlusconi after Palermo, but I'll speak to him between today (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday) as I always do before a game".

Source: AFP

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