|ESPNsoccernet: UEFA Champions League|
AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri does not expect to lose his job after Wednesday's game against Malaga, insisting the team "are not playing badly" and must forget the players who left over the summer.
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Allegri's future is the subject of much speculation after suffering yet another defeat this past weekend when they visited Lazio. They are now only outside the relegation zone thanks to a superior goal difference.
"I don't think tomorrow's game will be my last," he told a pre-match press conference. "This moment is similar to the time when I lost five games in a row at Cagliari but my team is not in difficulty and we are not playing badly. Football is often decided by certain incidents. We have to stay calm. Thinking too much will drive you mad."
Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani offered Allegri fresh assurances over the weekend, and certainly the coach's task has not been helped by the loss of a number of players - including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva, Clarence Seedorf, Alessandro Nesta and Gennaro Gattuso - over the summer. Even so, Allegri refuses to make excuses.
"We can't think about what has happened over the last two years with players that had certain characteristics," he said. "Now I need to get the best out of those I have here."
Among those players is Kevin-Prince Boateng, who has struggled to live up to the standards he set in his first two years at San Siro. "Boateng played his worst game of the season against Lazio on Saturday but he has done well on other occasions," Allgeri said. "The opinions on players change when results change."
Allegri went on to discuss the reasoning behind the move to restrict the squad to their Milanello training complex.
"The training retreat is something that could be of use," he said. "It was a decision made by the club at a difficult time. Milan haven't been this low in the table for years."
Allegri is hoping to begin a revival when Milan travel to Spain, although the task will not be easy against a Malaga side currently sitting third in La Liga.
"Malaga play a very offensive brand of football," he said. "We'll have to try and play well in possession because there will certainly be space for us. It will be tough and we'll have to play as we did at Zenit. They are very technical from the midfield onwards."