Allegri: AC Milan moving in the right direction

The under-fire coach insists the Rossoneri demonstrated an improvement in their slender victory over Genoa at the weekend, while revealing that Pato will start at Palermo.
Massimiliano Allegri says he has no qualms with the recent performances given by AC Milan and believes the side has been unlucky during its recent poor run of results.

The Rossoneri ended a sequence of three straight defeats at the San Siro on Saturday thanks to a 1-0 win over Genoa but had little time to reflect on the result, as they must now turn their attentions to a mid-week Serie A clash with lowly Palermo.

Speaking ahead of the trip to Sicily, Allegri claimed he never harbored any doubts about the club's commitment and was adamant that the goals will soon come, having acknowledged its failure to regularly convert chances.

"The team always give 100 percent," Allegri said. "We have to improve in the last 30 yards [of the field] but it isn't always easy. On Saturday, Genoa defended very well with 10 men behind the ball. We are not playing at all badly, we concede very little and let's hope it continues that way.

"We will improve in the last third of the field as the players mature together. The strikers have a lot of goals in them and we just need to be a little luckier. In these moments of difficulty, the coach cannot panic. The game on Saturday could have finished a draw but the performance would still have been the same. In football, the only thing that matters is the result."

Despite highlighting Milan's profligacy, Allegri was quick to praise young forward Stephan El Shaarawy, who again proved to be Milan's match-winner at the weekend with his seventh strike of the season.

"El Shaarawy is doing very well, but he still has a long way to go and can still improve technically," Allegri added. "He is a well-balanced lad. He helps out a lot in defence and is a quality finisher as he is demonstrating. He is in excellent shape at the moment and has lots of energy - he is just 20 after all."

Regarding the team that will take to the Renzo Barbera on Tuesday, Allegri confirmed the inclusion of injury-hit striker Alexandre Pato, while handing Philippe Mexes a reprieve for his recent tardiness in training.

"Pato will be starting the match tomorrow, while [Kevin-Prince] Boateng has a problem with his Achilles tendon and hasn't been called up, but it is strictly an injury problem," Allegri said. "Christian Abbiati is better but tomorrow [Marco] Amelia will once again start. Sulley Muntari is also doing well, but it is too early for him to be playing competitive football.

"Mexes should have started against Genoa but arrived 10 minutes late to training and so I kept him out. He will start against Palermo."

The Rosanero have enjoyed a slight improvement under newly-appointed coach Gian Piero Gasperini, as they take a four-match unbeaten run into their meeting with Milan, and Allegri pinpointed three potential dangermen.

"Palermo are doing very well now," he said. "Gasperini's sides have always played good football. They have players like [Fabrizio] Miccoli, [Josip] Ilicic and [Franco] Brienza, all of whom can cause all sorts of problems. It will be a very tough game for us so we have to defend very well against these three players."

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