Milan manager Allegri grateful for squad depth

Milan manager Allegri grateful for squad depth

ROME - Agence France-Presse
Milan manager Allegri grateful for squad depth

Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic shakes off a back injury to score two goals and leads AC Milan to a 2-1 win over Roma. REUTERS photo

Massimiliano Allegri said he was lucky to have such a big squad as Thiago Silva became the latest player to break down with injury, virtually ruling him out of this week’s Champions League clash with Barcelona.

The Brazilian lasted only 10 minutes of the 2-1 win at Roma before hobbling off with a muscle problem in his leg on March 24.

Allegri said afterwards it would be almost impossible for his center back to be fit to face the European Champions at the San Siro.

Daniele Bonera switched from full-back into the center and formed a solid partnership with Philippe Mexes, earning praise from Allegri.

“I think it will be impossible for him (Silva) to play on Wednesday, he has a problem in his flexor muscle,” said Allegri. “Fortunately we have a big squad of 33 players, some of whom have found consistency by playing more regularly.

“I wanted to take the risk (with Silva) because it was a vital match, the league is as important as the Champions League and as I don’t have many full-backs I wanted to rest (Gianluca) Zambrotta.
“In the morning Thiago Silva showed no signs of problems, but that’s how it went.”

Allegri was already missing the likes of forwards Robinho, Pato, Antonio Cassano and Maxi Lopez as well as full-backs Ignazio Abate and Luca Antonini and defensive midfielder Mark van Bommel.
It has left Allegri scratching his head to find a reason for why so many of his players are injured.
“It’s not good that with a month to go in the season we have so many injuries, now is the time that you make a difference,” he moaned.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic overcame a back problem and starred in the victory over Roma with two goals.
“My back’s been hurting for a few days but I have too much adrenaline on the pitch to think about it,” said Ibrahimovic.

Looking forward to the clash against his former employers, Ibrahimovic insisted there was no disadvantage to being drawn against the dazzling Catalans.

“If you want to win the Champions League you have to play these games,” he said.
“They’re the best team in the world and the favorites for the Cup but we don’t have anything to lose and they have a lot (to lose).”