AC Milan midfielder Nigel de Jong says a lack of experience is to blame for his team’s disappointing start to the season.
Seasoned stars such as Clarence Seedorf, Mark van Bommel and Zlatan Ibrahimovic departed the Serie A giants in the off-season, with a precarious financial situation limiting the club’s ability to bring in established stars.
De Jong, who joined the Italian side from Manchester City late in the transfer window, insists progress is being made ahead of Sunday’s city derby against Inter.
“I think everything revolves around a lack of experience,” the 27-year old said to Corriere Dello Sport.
“This is a very young team. In addition, several players who were on the bench last year are now regulars. Not surprisingly, we are making progress with every game.”
Massimiliano Allegri’s side sit 11th in Serie A having picked up just seven points from their opening six fixtures.
Allegri has been widely criticised for his team’s performances, with many calling for the 45-year-old to be sacked.
De Jong is dismissive of such rumours, saying the squad has no problems with the Italian.
“It’s always like that everywhere. Ajax had four coaches (in my time at the club) and new managers are always being spoken of at Manchester City,” the Dutchman said.
“The newspapers have a vested interest in cases like these. But what counts in the end is what (the club executives) want.
“Only (Silvio) Berlusconi and (Adriano) Galliani can determine if he is no longer suitable. And if they say Allegri is our coach, Allegri is our coach and (the squad) is with him.”