Allegri excited by Rossoneri opener

BY foxsports • September 14, 2010

AC Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri is looking forward to making his Champions League coaching debut in the Group G opener at home to Auxerre.

Allegri, who replaced Leonardo at the helm of the Rossoneri this summer, has had a shaky start in his new role after falling to newly-promoted Cesena 2-0 on Saturday.

But the 43-year-old is fully concentrated on his first game in Europe's premier club competition at the San Siro on Wednesday night

"It will be very emotional for me," said Allegri. "This is my first time.

"The draw has placed us in a group with top European clubs and it will be a challenge from the start."

Milan, who will also face Real Madrid and Ajax in their pool, lost to Manchester United in the last 16 of last season's competition.

Allegri will hope his side's European prospects will be boosted by recent signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic, although the Swedish striker had a poor debut on Saturday when he missed a penalty in the defeat at Cesena.

But Allegri has tried to use the defeat as a tool to motivate his players.

"I think this loss is a good lesson for the team because games have to be won with sacrifice," said Allegri. "If we don't play as a team, it will be difficult to win anything this campaign.

"Now we must react and look ahead with optimism."

The Italians will be without Thiago Silva, who is sidelined with a right thigh problem.

The good news for Allegri is that defender Alessandro Nesta and fellow veteran Clarence Seedorf, who missed the game at Cesena, have recovered from injuries and will start on Wednesday.

Rivals Auxerre have travelled to Italy also desperate to find their form.

The French side have yet to win after five games of their domestic campaign.

They gave away a late goal against Caen on Saturday and drew for the fourth time this season.

"Football is cruel," said Auxerre coach Jean Fernandez.

"To have claimed four points so far it gives cause for concern for some but I am not worried.

"I know I have a group of quality players and that the team will get better."