Turin thriller another boost for Allegri

Posted by Sumeet Paul

Claudio Villa/Getty ImagesMilan players are continuing their progress under Massimiliano Allegri

Despite a new injury crisis looming ominously, Milan continued their recent resurgence Sunday as they secured a thrilling 4-2 away win at Torino. As results arrive and players improve, perhaps a little praise for Massimiliano Allegri on steering what seemed a sinking ship to calmer waters is due.

Having faced the brunt of criticism through the early part of the season, Allegri has always maintained a positive attitude, believing he was the man to turn things around. The players are now displaying that unity and commitment, showing signs of being capable of sustaining a winning run and playing as if they have finally taken notice of the badge emblazoned on their shirts.

- Milan continue resurgence

Allegri's faith in certain individuals has never wavered despite the negative reaction in fielding them, with the likes of Robinho and Giampaolo Pazzini repaying their coach in Turin, albeit without setting the world alight. The Brazilian’s feint and finish brought some much needed quality to the final third, while Pazzini . . . .is still Pazzini. But if he can add consistency to his success in front of goal, Pazzini could become a significant component in the squad.

With three consecutive league wins for the first time since the back end of last season, the Rossoneri are progressively closing the gap to European places, with some looking as far up as third place.

No prizes for guessing who the most relieved man in the Milan dressing room was after Sunday’s win though, as Antonio Nocerino overcame a nightmare moment in gifting Mario Santana the opening goal to later score his first of the season.

The bearded one had also faced his share of criticism, but it was reassuring to see that kind of reaction from him and his teammates to bounce back from conceding such a disastrous goal. Has Allegri had an impact on the mentality? You could argue yes. Mocked for his constant cries of 'Dai dai dai' on the touchline, is there surely more to his man management skills in order to be able to reinstall confidence in the players and get them winning again?

While many pointed to the departure of such important players in the summer as the reason behind Milan’s troubles, myself included, it masked the fact there is enough in this squad to at least challenge for third. It took a great deal of patience before getting to this point, but Allegri is hopefully silencing his doubters as the Rossoneri continue to climb the table and bridge the gap. I believed he could, Adriano Galliani seemingly believed he could, and after some persuasion it would appear Silvio Berlusconi believes he can, until the end of the season at least. "We are slowly growing and improving. We controlled the ball well today, but didn’t push forward with through runs enough,” the Milan coach said.

However, the win was marred by the injury to Nigel De Jong. The Dutch midfielder tore his Achilles tendon in the 21st minute and is unlikely to feature again this season, with Allegri identifying the soon-to-return Sulley Muntari as his replacement. Wishing De Jong well, the players dedicated the win to him, and will hopefully have the chance to repeat that sentiment with a win against Pescara next weekend.

Is your confidence in Allegri (being) restored? With successive wins, can Milan chase down the leading pack and realistically believe in third place?

For all the latest Milan and Serie A news, you can follow me on Twitter @italiafooty

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