Ancelotti calls on AC Milan to get cynical

January 24, 2008

ROME, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Coach Carlo Ancelotti wants European champions AC Milan to get cynical as they seek to react to a surprise midweek defeat at Atalanta by beating Genoa at home on Sunday (1400 GMT).

The 2-1 defeat was a blow to Milan's bid to recover from a poor start and reach Serie A's top four and qualify for next term's Champions League.

It leaves them in 10th place with 24 points from 17 games, 25 points behind leaders Inter Milan and 10 behind fourth-placed Fiorentina, albeit with two matches in hand.

'We have to look ahead because there are still lots of games to play and ways to make up ground,' Ancelotti told Milan's webiste.

'Now we are thinking on a match-by-match basis but we definitely have to learn to be more cynical in certain games.'

New arrival Pato is one of the players Ancelotti will want more ruthlessness from.

The teenage striker, who got his first senior Brazil call-up on Wednesday for a friendly against Ireland in Dublin on Feb 6, missed a sitter when Milan were 1-0 up at Atalanta.

Genoa, who have won their last three league games, travel to the San Siro without suspended defender Domenico Criscito.

Unbeaten Inter are aiming to notch up their ninth consecutive Serie A win at fifth-placed Udinese.

Sweden forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, whose late double gave Inter a 3-2 win over Parma last weekend, is expected to return after being rested for Wednesday's 2-2 draw with Juventus in the Italian Cup.

Argentine Julio Cruz, who scored both his side's goals in the quarter-final first leg with Juve, is favourite to join Ibrahimovic in attack.

AS Roma, who are seven points behind the champions in second, hope to have captain Francesco Totti back from a bout of flu for Saturday's home game against Palermo (1930 GMT).

Roma's Italy midfielder Daniele De Rossi is suspended, but defenders Max Tonetto and Christian Panucci return from bans.

Third-placed Juventus visit Livorno in the late game on Sunday (1930 GMT), while Fiorentina travel to second-from-bottom Tuscan rivals Empoli (1400 GMT).

After moving from Manchester City, Rolando Bianchi is likely to make his debut for Lazio at fellow strugglers Torino, who were also bidding to sign the striker.

However, Italian media said the transfer documentation is unlikely to come through in time for Bianchi to play in Lazio's Italian Cup quarter-final first leg against Fiorentina on Thursday.