MILAN (AP) — AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri knows his team cannot afford another slip-up at Udinese on Sunday if he is to keep his job.
Milan has made a woeful start this season, winning only once and losing twice in Serie A — the first time it has lost its opening two home games in 82 years.
"Last season we were leading the title race by four points and people were saying I'd get fired, so you can imagine it now," Allegri said.
Milan has also failed to score in three of its four matches, including the Champions League draw against Anderlecht, and the team was roundly jeered off the pitch after that match on Tuesday.
Striker Kevin-Prince Boateng said the team was far from down.
"We have to raise our heads and think of the other games," Boateng said. "The morale is good; criticism is normal because we're not playing very well, but the dressing room is calm because we have quality in the team. It's for that reason that we still believe in this squad.
"We're not scoring but so many times we just lacked a bit of luck, but we believe that we can score in the next game and win. The boos are normal, the fans are angry because we're not winning and we're not playing well in these games."
Milan has so far lost against newly promoted side Sampdoria and Atalanta, which usually fights against relegation.
Both of Milan's Brazil forwards, Alexandre Pato and Robinho, are working their way back from leg muscle injuries and Allegri will want the duo back as soon as possible as his attack is struggling after the sale of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Milan has scored just three goals, all of them in the away match at Bologna by Giampaolo Pazzini.
Midfielder Riccardo Montolivo could return from injury against Udinese and defender Philippe Mexes is also available after an unimpressive season debut against Anderlecht where he clearly lacked match fitness.