AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri says Mario Balotelli does not enjoy a privileged status at the club after substituting him during the 3-2 defeat to Parma.
• Paul: Milan lose thriller
Balotelli, 23, failed to make an impact on the game and was replaced by Alessandro Matri with Milan trailing 2-0.
The move paid dividends with Matri, 29, scoring almost immediately, and Allegri admitted afterwards that he had not been impressed by the former Manchester City player’s performance.
“He’s got to play better,” Allegri said in Corriere dello Sport. “His performance was not good today. I needed a striker who attacked more in the penalty area and I took him off, also because he was getting nervous and had already been booked.”
However, the Italy international did not take on board all of his coach’s instructions.
“Mario has got to do the centre-forward position better -- he’s got the quality for it,” Allegri said. “When you have a bad day, then you can be substituted. Everybody can be substituted.”
That also applies to Allegri, whose position -- having secured just 11 points from nine games and with a deficit of seven points on the top five -- is not particularly secure either.
“All the teams at the top have won so it’s going to be even more difficult to catch them,” he said. “We need to take things one step at a time and start above all to play better away from home. We’ve only picked up two points from five away games so clearly something’s not right.”