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Step into unknown for Milan and Auxerre

Published: Tuesday 14 September 2010, 18.48CET
Massimiliano Allegri and Jean Fernandez will make UEFA Champions League coaching debuts when AC Milan face AJ Auxerre though the Frenchman is no stranger to football in these parts.
by Roberta Radaelli
from Milan

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Published: Tuesday 14 September 2010, 18.48CET

Step into unknown for Milan and Auxerre

Massimiliano Allegri and Jean Fernandez will make UEFA Champions League coaching debuts when AC Milan face AJ Auxerre though the Frenchman is no stranger to football in these parts.

Having seen his side lose 2-0 at AC Cesena on Saturday, AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri expects another tough game on his UEFA Champions League management debut when AJ Auxerre come to town in Group G on Wednesday. French counterpart Jean Fernandez is also making his bow in European football's elite club competition but he is no stranger to Milan – he owes his entire approach to football, he says, to Arrigo Sacchi.

Massimiliano Allegri, Milan coach
Our morale is high; we have talked a lot and analysed the game at Cesena. It was a strange game, we didn't play well. Of course, as many have said, you always expect something more from a team like Milan. My players tried their best, we had a couple of chances in the first half, made two or three mistakes, and I'm sure those are mistakes we aren't going to make again.

I haven't had the chance to watch an Auxerre game live, but I viewed their two play-off matches in the summer and their league game against Monaco. Against Monaco, although they lost, they had many chances. So we have to be careful, because Auxerre have quick players, both up front and on the flanks. It's not going to be an easy game for sure, we must not make mistakes – especially our defenders.

Jean Fernandez, Auxerre coach
There's a possibility the players will feel the pressure of playing at a stadium like San Siro, against a side that play with such a high tempo. Milan have quality players but we are here on merit; we are here to win. If Milan are at their best it will be tough, but they have only played two games this season so maybe they are not ready yet. We have to keep focused for 90 minutes and more: players of this calibre will make the most of any mistakes.

One of Milan's former coaches, Arrigo Sacchi, changed my way of thinking about football. I came here for a week to study at Milanello, their training centre, and I saw Sacchi's revolution: he changed everything in football. I arrived here with one football philosophy, I left with another.

Team news
Milan
Alessandro Nesta (sciatic nerve) and Clarence Seedorf (knee) missed the Cesena game but are available again, though Thiago Silva is a doubt with a right thigh problem that forced him off at half-time on Saturday.

Auxerre
Roy Contout serves a one-match ban.

Weekend results
11/09/10 AC Cesena 2-0 Milan
(Bogdani 31, Giaccherini 44)
Milan suffered a fourth straight away defeat as Zlatan Ibrahimović, like Robinho making his debut, hit the post from the penalty spot.

11/09/10 Auxerre 1-1 SM Caen
(Pedretti 19; El Arabi 90+3)
Auxerre have picked up only four points from five games, just like last season when they ended up third. Frédéric Sammaritano made his Ligue 1 debut.

Did you know?
Fernandez was assistant to Raymond Goethals when he led Olympique de Marseille to victory against Milan in the 1993 UEFA Champions League final. He was also part of OM's coaching team when they defeated Milan in the quarter-finals in 1991.

See the match background for more information.

Last updated: 27/11/12 17.45CET

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