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The AC Milan head coach has defended his decision to start M'Baye Niang ahead of the Brazilian forward and also praised his side after they picked up three points away at Atalanta

Following AC Milan's 1-0 win away at Atalanta, Massimiliano Allegri has explained why he started M'Baye Niang ahead of Robinho by saying that he did not know if the Brazilian would be at the club next season.

Speculation has surrounded Robinho's future at the club, but a return to Brazil this January for the 29-year-old looks unlikely, as he wants to stay in Italy.

Milan won Sunday's match courtesy of Stephan El Shaarawy's 15th league goal of the season, but Robinho had to settle for a place on the bench as Allegri started Niang alongside Pazzini and El Shaarawy in attack. Speaking to reporters after the game, the coach explained his selection.

"I don’t know if Robinho will still be here next season, so for the moment I am choosing M'Baye Niang because he gives me more guarantees," Allegri told reporters.

The Milan coach also praised his side's recent improvement, though, he believes they need to be more clinical when they create chances.

“The team is doing fairly well and this was a good victory in a difficult arena," he continued.

“Atalanta caused us a few problems, but we did well for over an hour and only ran a few risks at the end. We’re a little more organised in the middle and can move the ball better in attack, which means when we play quickly we can do damage.

“The only thing we lacked today was a cool head in front of goal."

Milan rose to fifth in the table after Sunday's win.

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