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Poli: Injuries no excuse for Milan
Created on Oct. 02, 2013 11:33 AM EST
Milan midfielder Andrea Poli has refused to use the squad's injury list as an excuse for their recent stuttering form.
The Serie A side rescued a point in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday night as Mario Balotelli's 94th-minute penalty snatched a 1-1 draw away to Ajax.
Stefano Denswil thought he had given the hosts at the Amsterdam Arena a win with a last-minute header, but Milan's fourth stoppage-time goal of the season made sure the spoils were shared.
Massimiliano Allegri is currently without the injured Stephan El Shaarawy, Kaka, Mattia De Sciglio, Giampaolo Pazzini, Valter Birsa and Matias Silvestre while Riccardo Montolivo and Daniele Bonera are on the way back from fitness issues.
But Poli believes Milan cannot use their depleted squad as an excuse for their form so far this season, which has seen them win just four of 10 competitive matches.
"The excuse of absent players can’t be used," he said. "We have a lot of players and the squad is a rich one which gives us a lot of options.
"We gave something away in the first half and they’re very good and playing on the ball.
"We did better in the second half and came close to scoring a few times. I don’t think we were tired. We wanted to win.
"We had a lot of chances and so I don’t think it makes sense to talk about the team being tired."
Balotelli had missed the first penalty of his career with his previous effort from 12 yards against Napoli last month and Poli credited the striker's calmness to put that behind him when under pressure on Tuesday.
"I don’t think Balotelli was nervous," the midfielder added. "In the first half he found the going a bit hard like we all did.
"He took the penalty well. It was a tough game against a tough adversary but we wanted to get a result."