PREVIEW-Allegri tells Milan to snap out of negative mood (Reuters)
MILAN, April 9 (Reuters) - AC Milan coach MassimilianoAllegri has told his squad to snap out of their negative moodafter they were knocked out of the Champions League and lost theSerie A leadership in the space of five days.
Milan visit Chievo on Tuesday (1845 GMT) while unbeatenJuventus, who snatched the lead from them at the weekend, are athome to third-placed Lazio on Wednesday in one of the closestSerie A title races for years.
Allegri, one of the less charismatic coaches in Serie A, isfrom being a chest-thumping motivator but on Monday clearly feltforced to make a rallying call after seeing his team fall apoint behind Juve.
“There is too much negativity around us, nothing is lost,”he told reporters, two days after a shock 2-1 defeat toFiorentina at San Siro.
“It’s over the top to say that Juventus are unbeatable andare going to finish off the championship.
“The road is still long. The criticism is raining down onus, but we still have great chances of winning the title.
“There are still seven games to go and if Juventus had agreat chance when they were two points behind us, the same goesfor us when we are one behind.”
Juventus, attempting to win the title for the first timesince they were stripped of the 2005 and 2006 scudettos andrelegated in a match-fixing scandal, have 65 points from 31games, afer going top with a 2-0 win at Palermo on Saturday.
Antonio Conte’s team have won their last four games withoutconceding a goal.
Yet, only one month ago, they appeared to be running out ofsteam as they drew six out of seven games.
Conte insisted at the time that it was simply a matter ofJuventus taking their chances, and he has been vindicated in thelast month with results including a 5-0 win at Fiorentina and a2-0 defeat of Inter Milan.
Juventus playmaker Andrea Pirlo, who joined the club thisseason after 10 years with Milan, said his team were surprisedas anyone after the defending champions slipped up.
“We didn’t expect them to come acropper after they had beenahead for so long…but one false step and it could all go downthe drain.”
(Writing by Brian Homewood in Berne; Editing by JohnMehaffey)