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May 16, 2013

Allegri receives Milan player backing

AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri has received the support of his players ahead of the match that could decide his future at the club.

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Milan go into the final game of the Serie A season needing a win away to Siena to guarantee third place and a spot in next season's Champions League play-off round.

Failure to finish third will leave Allegri clinging on to his job and it is believed his position is not safe even if the Rossoneri do clinch Champions League qualification.

The former Cagliari boss has overseen a dramatic turnaround in fortunes in the second-half of the season, with the signing of Mario Balotelli inspiring Milan to claim 42 points from their past 17 games having posted just 27 in their first 18.

And midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng feels Allegri deserves recognition for what he has achieved at Milan.

"He has done a great job in these three years and needs to stay," Boateng told Italian media. "For me, there isn't a Milan without Allegri.

"Next year we have to do better, as there were so many new players this time. We need to work together so we can win the Scudetto."

Stephan El Shaaraway echoed his team-mate's sentiment, telling the Milan Channel: "We are a good group of players, led by a great coach, and I hope we can all be here together next season."

But Rossoneri chief executive Adriano Galliani remained tight-lipped on the future of Allegri, who has been at the San Siro since 2010 and led the club to the Serie A title in 2011.

"I just want to talk about Sunday, the match against Siena," Galliani said. "We are confident and expect to qualify for the Champions League and, before Sunday evening, we will not talk about the transfer market nor the coach."

Newly crowned Italian champions Juventus and second-placed Napoli have tied up the first two Champions League spots, with Milan battling out with Fiorentina for the third and final place.

La Viola are two points behind Milan at present and face relegated Pescara in their final game, though they do boast a better head-to-head record having drawn with and beaten Allegri's side in their two meetings this season.

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