Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Allegri: Juventus and Conte should lighten up

The AC Milan coach has downplayed his 'feud' with the Bianconeri trainer and believes Mario Balotelli has what it takes to become one of the team's leaders
AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri has told his Juventus colleague Antonio Conte to lighten up after the duo had a series of altercations in the media last season.

However, the Rossoneri coach is serious about Juve's Scudetto hopes, believing the club to be the favorite to win Serie A with the signings of Carlos Tevez, Fernando Llorente and Angelo Ogbonna.

Conte and Allegri were engaged in a war of words more than once last term, but the Milan trainer has stressed that his comments should often be taken with a pinch of salt.

"The people at Juventus have taken some of my jokes much too seriously. There should be room for a bit of humor in the game. I think Conte has done an extraordinary job," Allegri told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"For me, Juventus are the favorites to win the Serie A title again. Compared to last season, we have the advantage that the team has been together for a full year. The league will be more balanced this term. Juventus have won two consecutive titles, though, and have signed some great players."

Allegri also had his say on Mario Balotelli and stressed that he sees the controversial striker as one of the team's leaders.

"Balotelli is getting along fine with the young players and doing a good job. In the end he's still a big kid himself. He should be treated like a 23-year-old who still needs to improve in certain areas," he continued.

"I talked to him for a long time and he knows that he is our most important player. He should now take his responsibility and become our leader on the pitch. He has incredible potential and still has plenty of room for improvement."