Massimiliano Allegri admits he’ll change for Sunday night’s Milan-Juventus, talk of Alexandre Pato’s exit “is premature” and competition from Pep Guardiola is “not my problem.”
The Rossoneri were visited for the second Friday in a row by President Silvio Berlusconi, who landed at the training ground in his personal helicopter to motivate the squad. However, Berlusconi also stated Milan are battling Manchester City to sign Guardiola next season.
“President Berlusconi is very charismatic and uses the right words for every individual. A positive result would help to cancel out some of the negative things,” said Allegri in his Press conference.
“Guardiola? That’s not my problem. I have to focus on tomorrow’s game. I do not want to, nor can I, decide who will be the Milan Coach next year. It’s not up to me.”
Among those negatives is the Pato ‘problem’ after the striker said he’ll talk to his agent about a move so he can play more regularly.
“The lad was just blowing off steam in the heat of the moment. He needs to have the patience to understand that it takes time to get back to the player he was. He cannot resolve everything straight away.
“It is premature to talk about Pato’s exit from Milan. We have to concentrate on Serie A, seeing as we have qualified for the Champions League knockouts.”
It’s not just any Serie A game on Sunday evening, as leaders Juventus visit San Siro for a tense showdown.
“It is possible there will be a few changes compared the most recent games. This match is going to feel like it lasts 100 minutes, so some figures are tired. I am thinking about some changes in midfield and will evaluate what is the right move tomorrow morning. I hope it goes well.
“Tomorrow we need a perfect performance in every area, even if of course perfection does not exist in football...
“Will we man-mark Andrea Pirlo? No, we didn’t do that last season and won’t tomorrow either. Of course, we will keep a special eye on him.”
The tension is still dragging on from last term when Sulley Muntari’s ‘phantom goal’ crossed the line in their 1-1 draw, unseen by the officials.
“There has been enough talk about this all over the world. It would be pointless discussing it again now. At least I can tell the story to my grandchildren,” smiled Allegri.
“I don’t think Antonio Conte’s ban has damaged Juve, as they have 32 points and put in a great performance against Chelsea. It’s more of a trauma for him not being on the bench than it is the team.”
Philippe Mexes and Kevin Constant have recovered from knocks picked up against Anderlecht, but Pato is out along with Luca Antonini, Massimo Ambrosini, Ignazio Abate, Daniele Bonera, Sulley Muntari, Djamel Mesbah and Didac Vila.
“It is possible Robinho will start among the front three, yes. It’s a shame we are not higher up the table going into this game, but we have time to recover. A great performance would bring enthusiasm back to the fans and help self-confidence grow in the team.
“What has changed from the last Milan-Juventus? Well, 13 players have gone, but there’s no point talking about them now. I must work with the ones we have.”
Milan squad for Juventus: Abbiati, Amelia, Gabriel, Acerbi, De Sciglio, Mexes, Yepes, Zapata, Boateng, Constant, De Jong, Emanuelson, Flamini, Montolivo, Nocerino, Strasser, Bojan, El Shaarawy, Niang, Pazzini, Robinho