Allegri: Robinho needs to improve

The Rossoneri coach admits the forward is yet to hit the heights of his first season at the club, while lamenting the lapses in concentration that have cost his side dearly
Massimiliano Allegri says Robinho must improve if he is to regain his place in the AC Milan side, while praising the maturity of Stephan El Shaarawy.

The Brazil international has seen first team opportunities limited as a result of injury and the form of his 19-year-old team-mate and Allegri admitted the pair have enjoyed contrasting fortunes of late.

"I hope that El Shaarawy keeps on doing well both for us and the national side, which is made up of many young players at the moment," he told reporters at a press conference.

"He manages himself well in an important part of his career and he's a balanced lad.

"He'll have to stay calm in the difficult moments that the future may bring. He's grown very quickly and nobody was expecting it.

"We have a lot of quality in attack and Robinho has yet to come back to the extraordinary heights of his first year [at the club]. He's a great player who has to get back to his level."

The 45-year-old then lamented the lapses in concentration that have seen the Rossoneri muster just 14 points from their opening 12 Serie A matches.

"We could be higher up the table," he continued.

"In football, it can be the attitude during the game that can make the difference. Lapses in attention have made life difficult for us but there's still time to climb.

"From here to December 22 there are important games both in the league and in the Champions League and we have to focus on them.

"We have to grow mentally. We've tried different tactical solutions and the players will take to the field in their natural positions. We've conceded far too many [goals] so far, regardless of formation or tactics."

The San Siro club take on high-flying Napoli on Saturday and Allegri is determined to build on some of the positives he has witnessed, though he admits the Partenopei could prove to be tricky opposition.

"Despite our league position we're the number one team in terms of possession, so we have to defend better and be more awake in certain situations," he said.

"Napoli are a team that love to hit you on the counterattack. They're doing well this season in the league with great players in attack and an organised style of play.

"They're a team that have been together for years. Tomorrow we'll have to play a technically clean game with a careful attitude in those moments when the game seems dead."