AC Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has dismissed suggestions that falling out of the top three on the final day of the Serie A season would make the campaign a failure.
Failure to beat Siena on Sunday could see Fiorentina leapfrog them if their win their match, a scenario that would see the Rossoneri qualify for the Europa League instead of the Champions League.
"We have reached the end of the season, which has been rich with satisfying moments," Allegri told reporters on Saturday. "We need to win in order to maintain third place, fundamental for the Champions League, but our season cannot have been a failure.
"Siena will not be depressed or upset, as they will be eager to get a great result and leave Serie A with their heads held high. The lads had a great week to prepare in the best way possible for this match.”
"We are two points ahead of Fiorentina and certainly have done more than them. It’s a shame that one of the two teams has to miss out on the Champions League,” continued Allegri.
"The Viola play good football, but this sport is about results. You can only win one or two games without deserving to, but then you build something great the way we did. In Italy there is this obsession with tactics, so you can even win when playing badly.
"The tension is high right now, but that is only right considering the match we are facing. Siena want to end the season well, they caused problems for Napoli last week and we must do well to keep the concentration on full for 90 minutes.
Allegri refused to divulge whether he would still be at San Siro next season amid rumours of him leaving to join Roma and simply stated that his future would be discussed with the campaign complete.
"Is this my last press conference for Milan? Yes…of the season," the coach smiled. "Nobody is thinking about the future right now.
"I spoke to [club owner Silvio] Berlusconi yesterday, but unfortunately due to personal commitments he was unable to come today.
"I haven’t decided anything about the future yet, as tomorrow night is a very important game. After that, I will talk to the club, but at this moment the issue of the coach is at the bottom of our priorities. Right now we just need to win against Siena. After the season is over, we will talk about what’s going to happen."
Mario Balotelli claimed this week that he would walk off if he was racially abused again by supporters following taunts from some Roma fans earlier in May, a sentiment that Allegri remained coy on, simply hinting that football organisations clamp down on discrimination.
"It would be best if Balotelli stayed on the field all the time, obviously," he added. "The decision is down to the authorities."
Allegri was tipped to be sacked as Milan coach in the first half of the season on numerous occasions as the club languished in midtable, however, their turnaround in form to be on the verge of Champions League qualification has been hugely impressive and Allegri extended his thanks to fans, players and the club who ensured he remained Rossoneri boss.
He added: "The fans have been laudable all season and created the right enthusiasm around us despite the initial diffidence and fear.
"On a personal note, before the game I have to thank the lads and the club, because they kept me even after difficult opening rounds, just like Cagliari had done."