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By ESPN Staff

Ancelotti bemoans Milan injury list after defeat

AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti has blamed a lengthy injury list for his side's recent slump in form.

Milan were without Gennaro Gattuso, Alessandro Nesta, Massimo Ambrosini, Kaka and Marco Borriello for Sunday's 2-1 defeat at Sampdoria.

That loss came just days after they were dumped out of the UEFA Cup by Werder Bremen on away goals, having let slip a 2-0 lead at the San Siro.

And Ancelotti is keeping his fingers crossed the treatment room will clear quickly as the Rossoneri look to rescue something from their season.

''At the moment we have a lot of injuries and I hope we can get some players back soon,'' he said. ''But we cannot prevent injuries in the first place.

''We have done excellent things in this field, but if a player like Kaka is tired, then he has more chance of getting an injury than if he is fully fit. We are working as hard as we can to get one of them (the injured players) back for Sunday. I just hope we can do it.''

The Rossoneri slipped 12 points behind league leaders Inter Milan yesterday and can all but rule out their chances of winning the Serie A title this campaign.

A Champions League spot is still there for the taking, although Ancelotti is aware his side will have to perform better than they did against Samp.

''We are conceding goals too easily,'' the coach continued. ''It was not a fantastic Milan again. It is hard to come back when you are 2-0 down, but we showed a good reaction and came close to the equaliser.

''Psychologically, we have got to try and find a way of dealing with this and rediscovering some serenity in preparation for our next game.''

That game, at home to Atalanta next Sunday, could be the last in a red and black shirt for David Beckham.

The England international's loan contract after Sunday's fixture, when - barring any last-minute deal - he will return to the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Beckham struggled yesterday in one of his quietest games for Milan and was taken off in the 68th minute - a move which Ancelotti described as ''tactical''.

''By taking Beckham off, it gave (Andrea) Pirlo the chance to express himself better,'' he said. ''Bringing Emerson on allowed Pirlo to play more advanced.''

Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi, meanwhile, tried to play down the Samp defeat as something to be expected with their injury troubles.

''It's a pity,'' said Berlusconi. ''With so many stars in the team. But unfortunately we have many players out injured and when not all of our champions like Kaka can play, it becomes more difficult.

''We shouldn't make a tragedy out of this, though.''

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