AC Milan CEO Adriano Galliani has leaped to the defence of head coach Massimiliano Allegri, insisting the trainer's record at the club speaks for itself.
The Italian has come in for some criticism for failing to mount a serious title-challenge this season, with rivals Juventus holding a commanding 18-point lead over Allegri's men after their torrid start to the campaign.
However, Galliani has moved to defend his coach and believes a third placed finish in Serie A will represent a successful season following a difficult summer and autumn in 2012.
"If we finish in third place I will consider it to be a positive season when you consider we lost Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] and Thiago Silva, who are both excellent players," Galliani told Gazzetta dello Sport.
"Allegri has been here for three years. In that time, we were champions, then finished second and now it seems we will finish third. It is not a bad record."
The Rossoneri host Catania to San Siro next Sunday and the 68-year-old has welcomed the return of Mario Balotelli from suspenion.
Galliani added: "Balotelli will be back on Sunday. He is a great player. It is just too bad he was not available for the previous two games."