AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri said their visit to Catania on Friday will hold more importance than their win over Juventus.
The San Siro club recorded a much-needed 1-0 win over the Serie A leaders on Sunday courtesy of a Robinho penalty, but Allegri said consolidating that result would be key.
Catania have won four of their past five at home, with the other result a narrow loss to Juve, and Allegri is aware of their upcoming opponents’ ability at the Stadio Angelo Massimino.
“I think it will be a very tough match tomorrow (Friday), because we will be facing Catania and they are very strong at home, almost all the points they have taken have come from their home games,” Allegri said on Thursday.
“On the top of that, they’ve just been defeated in their derby match against Palermo, so they will be determined to win again and there will be a difficult atmosphere for us.”
Allegri said the confidence they gained from toppling the champions – who suffered just their second loss in over 12 months – will help them on their journey to Catania, as they aim to take all three points and move above their opponents on the table.
“Tomorrow’s (Friday’s) match is much more important than the one against Juventus last Sunday, it’s much more important for us and for our position in the table to win tomorrow against Catania than against Juventus, even if winning against Juventus was great for our morale and confidence,” he said.
“We need to respect everyone, but at the same time we cannot be afraid of any opponent. We need to play with great care and determination, we need to play good technical matches.
“We have only 25 days before the Christmas break, with four fixtures in Serie A, one in the Coppa Italia, and we need to win that, and the last Champions League game on Tuesday.”
Allegri credited Milan’s recent form – two wins and a draw in their past three matches in all competitions – to an improved feeling of unity on the pitch.
“As I told you from the beginning, we needed some time to start doing something good as a team,” he said.
“We’re just at the beginning of the track now, but the guys are good.
“They’ve been improving from the point of view of the attitude and determination, we are focused and a close group on the pitch now, and that’s thanks to the fact that every single player is improving and the team benefit from this.”