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Sep, 19, 2012

Allegri looks for positives

Milan faced heavy criticism after their 0-0 home draw with Anderlecht in the Champions League on Tuesday night, but coach Massimiliano Allegri believes the game was "a small step forward".

Midfielder Mathieu Flamini said "it hurts to be jeered" in the aftermath of the shock goalless draw at home to the Belgian champions, who came from the bottom set of seeds. Milan were booed from the pitch at the final whistle.

The Rossoneri have now failed to score in three of their four matches this season, and Allegri said: "I'd say we made a lot of technical mistakes in the first half.

"It's not an easy moment, and of course the pressure is on to win every game. After the break the team found more courage and created some scoring opportunities. We are using up some mental energy and a victory would make things easier.

"We must continue working and improve on those aspects that need improving. I think getting tense and talking too much would not be helpful. My lads played with effort, courage and intensity, while Anderlecht never had a shot on target. It is a small step forward as we kept a clean sheet. Now we've got to score against Udinese."

Allegri was asked about the half-time tactical switch that saw Milan adopt a more orthodox 4-3-3 formation, moving Kevin-Prince Boateng from the role behind the two strikers.

But he said he did not believe that made a difference, adding: "It went better after the break, but that was not to do with the tactics.

"We need to have a little more courage. We weren't phenomena who could win every match before, but we're not a disaster now."

Flamini told Sky Italia how difficult it was to deal with the reaction of the supporters: "It hurts to be jeered, of course," he said. "Today the team wanted to win the game and had three great chances.

"It's positive that we were solid defensively and did not concede. Now we are looking for a goal and we don't know why it hasn't come, because this side has quality and created opportunities.

"It is to be considered a positive point, and I am sure the goal will arrive in the next game. We must forget this night, work hard, and I'm confident things will go well."

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