- everything football

Allegri lays down challenge

By Football News

Massimiliano Allegri has challenged his AC Milan players to start picking up points as he prepares his side to face Siena.

The Rossoneri have been in indifferent form so far this season and start the year in seventh place with 27 points from their 18 fixtures, their previous game a comprehensive 4-2 defeat against Roma.

However, speaking in a pre-match press conference, the 45-year-old Italian was positive about his team's chances in the second half of the Serie A campaign.

"After the defeat at Roma we need to bounce back," the former Cagliari trainer told journalists.

"It won't be easy because Siena played really well in the Cup against Lazio. They are well organised so we will have to work hard for all three points."

Allegri has faced numerous questions about possible transfers this January, with Didier Drogba amongst the names linked with a move to Milan, but he once again stressed that he will put his faith in youth, singling out defender Mattia De Sciglio as an example.

"De Sciglio has the quality to support us in the centre of the defence," he responded when asked how his team would cope without the injured Mario Yepes and Daniele Bonera, with Philipe Mexes also suspended.

"Hopefully in 2013 we will solve our problems at conceding goals from set-pieces.

"Despite the defeat at Roma we have taken a lot of points and the only other defeats were against Fiorentina and Zenit. The important thing is to improve our mental approach. Our objective is to qualify for the Champions League and we need to start picking up points."