AC Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri has called for his men to relax ahead of their Champions League second-leg match against Spurs.
Milan will have to overturn a 1-0 deficit at White Hart Lane on Wednesday, after a highly charged first leg at the San Siro that saw several heavy challenges and an ugly confrontation between the Serie A club’s skipper Gennaro Gattuso and Spurs assistant coach Joe Jordan.
Allegri wants his men to go into the round-of-16 clash relaxed, claiming that worrying about the scoreline will be detrimental to their chances of progression to the quarter-finals.
“I’m quite calm, it also could be harmful if we go into a match feeling too tense,” Allegri said.
“We need to remain as calm as possible, but being aware of the importance of every match that we play from now right up until the end of the season.”
“We also need to be aware that Wednesday’s match is decisive in terms of remaining in the competition. We will think about Sunday’s match (a Serie A clash with Bari) from Thursday morning onwards.”
“Of course we are aware of the fact they’re strong and have 25 excellent players. They’re doing very well in the (English) Premier League.”
Allegri said he would not spend too much time worrying about Welsh winger Gareth Bale – who is only rated a 50-50 chance of starting the match as he recovers from a back injury – claiming Spurs have plenty of talent across the whole pitch.
“We know Bale is an important player, a player with both physical and technical qualities. He has improved a lot this season,” he said.
“But I believe there is more to Tottenham than Gareth Bale. They’re a team made up of many excellent players with excellent technical skills, in the midfield and up front in particular.”