ALLEGRI: WE HAVE TO WIN AGAINST ATALANTA – Serie A Week 18, Monday 6 January 2014

By Anna Italia
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           AC Milan – Atalanta


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Serie A Standing BEFORE the game:
AC Milan, 13th position with 19 points and a negative goal difference of -1
Atalanta, 15th position with 18 points and a negative goal difference of  -7

Pos Team P W D L Goals Diff. Points
13 Milan 17 4 7 6 25:26 -1 19
15 Atalanta 17 5 3 9 18:25 -7 18

 Here are the declarations of AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri during the press conference on the eve of the Serie A Week 18 game, AC Milan vs Atalanta.  The game to be played on Monday 6 January 2014 in San Siro.

Allegri saying, “I’d like to pay tribute to Eusebio, one of world football’s
greats who made history win the game, and send my condolences to his

On new signing Keisuke Honda

Honda? He’s eager to show what he can do, he’s good for the
club. Unfortunately he won’t be available for the Champions League but
he’ll play in the league and the Italian cup. He’s a technical player
who’ll fill a gap up in attack. He has a lot of personality and the most
important thing is that he has a lot of enthusiasm and wants to show
his quality in Italian football. Japanese football is one the rise and I
remember the contribution that Nakata made to the title winning Roma
side. Nagatomo is doing well at Inter and in terms of the
characteristics that he has, Honda is a player that we’ve been missing.
The number 10 jersey is a heavy one and has always been worn by great
players from Rivera to Boban, to Rui Costa, Seedorf and Boateng who was
the last one even if he a slightly different kind of player. Honda won’t
play tomorrow. We’ll see what kind of shape he’s in in the next few
days. I think he’ll be available for selection against Sassuolo. He
seems like an intelligent guy who wants to help the team and this is
very important.”

On AC Milan performance this season

“We have to get back winning. We only have 19 points
and at the moment we’re closer to the drop zone than the European
places. We have to show responsibility and recognize the moment that
we’re in. We’re getting players back and now we have Honda and Rami. We
have to show different form than we’ve shown in the last few months. We
have to understand where we went wrong and improve at both ends of the
pitch. We need to show competitiveness tomorrow. We know how tough it’ll
be and how much we need the three points.”

On his status with AC Milan

“I spoke to Galliani
prior to Christmas about the decision to leave the club in June. It’s
only in Italy where all the fuss is. Yesterday Bayern Munich announced
the arrival of Lewandowski from a rival team and that should become
normal in Italy as well. We’re professional and we have to work well to
the end of the contract. I’ve had four years here and I thank President
Berlusconi, Adriano Galliani and the club for having given me the chance
to lead an important team. Now we still have objectives to reach and we
have to do everything we can to get back up the table. We have the
Italian cup and the Champions League to play in and I have faith that
we’ll do well. I want to finish my time here I the best way possible. I
don’t know if we’ll be able to get back into contention for the league
but that’s what we’re working on. Everyone thinks we’re dead on our feet
in the Champions League but I think we’ve a good chance of getting to
the next round. But in any case, nothing will change my decision. The
club will find the right person to take my place, someone worthy of the
club. Seedorf is a very intelligent player and I say that because he’s
still playing. Coaching is a different trade but I know the club will
choose someone able to get the results that they expect.”

On the formation against Atalanta

“I still
have some doubts about tomorrow’s formation in the centre of defense, in
the middle and in attack. Pazzini is getting better but he’s not ready
to start yet. Robinho is getting back fit and there’s Saponara who
played well in the derby but he hasn’t been training at 100% for the
past couple of days. Honda? He can play a position for us that, at the
moment, only Birsa can cover. He got injured against Livorno and before
that he played a lot of matches after a long time out. Goals conceded?
That’s one of my worries and one of the things that I’ve looked at the
most. Atalanta? Colantuono is a great coach and he has a well organized
team. He’s done well in Bergamo and has great players like Denis,
Moralez and Bonaventura. They’re a solid team and they concede very
little. We’ll have to be patient.”

General views

“The results speak for themselves.
For two years, the club gave me a team to win the league and then
things changed. We started again with young players who did well to get
into the Champions League. In four years, we always got through the
group stages of the Champions League. We got to the quarter finals and
we met Barcelona 8 times. Now we’re up against Atletico Madrid on top of
the table in Spain but we have a good chance of getting through. I
think that Balotelli has grown a lot, he’s important for the club and
for the national side. He has room to grow more. He was a starter this
season at Milan for the first time in his career and playing a game
every three days will be good for him. He’s growing day by day and I see
a lot of enthusiasm in him.”

“Galliani comes back today and he’s
already done well with Honda and Rami. This team has a great future and
with one or two changes, they’ll be fighting for the top three spots
next season. Mexes? He had an eye problem before the match against Genoa
and he been out because of that. Now though, he’s ready to play.”

Click the video to watch the declarations of AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri, Press Conference, Sunday 5 January 2014, Centro Sportivo Milanello

Serie A ticketsItalian Serie A  Week 18

AC Milan – Atalanta
Monday 6 January 2014
San Siro Stadium
Milan,  Italy


Referee: Peruzzo
Assistants: DE LUCA – PASSERI
Fourth Official: STALLONE

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