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Ancelotti targets second place

AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti has set his team a new target: second place in Serie A. A couple of weeks ago the 49-year-old said the nerazzurri had had to reassess their goals for the season and would be aiming for third place and a direct spot in the Champions League group stages in the next campaign.

Back then they sat 14 points behind leaders Inter Milan and seven away from second-placed Juventus with fourth-placed Genoa breathing down their necks. However, Juve have picked up only one point from their last two games and now Milan sit only two points behind their old rivals.

“We can believe in it because right now Juventus are back in our sights,” Ancelotti told Milan’s official TV channel. “The bianconeri will have to be careful, just as we will. They have to play against Inter on Saturday and that for us is an extra stimulus to catch them.”

Ancelotti has not forgotten about Genoa, though, who trail the seven-times European champions by just four points. And Milan maintained that gap with a fortunate and hard-fought 1-0 victory at Chievo on Saturday.

“That was important for the standings. Even if we didn’t dazzle it was important to win to keep our advantage over Genoa and Fiorentina,” he said. “We have to be careful because one slip could compromise the advantage we have.”

Ancelotti also defended playmaker Kaka, who has not shone since returning recently from injury.

“His performance in Verona (at Chievo) was in line with his period of inactivity,” added the coach. “He was out for a long time and needs to find his top form again because Ricky (Kaka) is a player who exploits the speed in his play a lot and if he’s not in good condition he’s hampered.”