Leonardo pleads for patience at AC Milan

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The Independent Football

AC Milan coach Leonardo has appealed to Rossoneri supporters not to give up on his struggling outfit.

The sale of Kaka to Real Madrid and the departure of coach Carlo Ancelotti to Chelsea has been followed by a woeful start to the season, with Sunday's goalless home draw against newly-promoted Bari leaving Milan 11th in the standings.

Just 34,000 fans turned up at the Giuseppe Meazza stadium to watch Milan on Sunday and many booed at the end of the game.

"We are struggling psychologically although our team has the experience to react," Leonardo said.

"We hope that more fans can turn up to the stadium, the team needs their support."

The result against Bari capped a frustrating week for Leonardo.

It followed the Rossoneri's 1-0 defeat at Udinese in midweek and left them seven points behind league leaders Sampdoria.

"Bari played very well," Leonardo said. "We struggled against them and in the end the boos, just like the applause, are also deserved.

"We risked losing this game so we have to be relieved to have claimed a point."

Milan's hero yesterday was their goalkeeper, Marco Storari, who denied Bari on several occasions.

The biggest problem for Leonardo's squad has been its inability to score.

They have managed just one goal in their last five league games.

Top summer signing Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Ronaldinho have yet to score this season.

"We are really struggling to create chances," Leonardo said. "It is normal that the fans expect us to get a result at the San Siro."

Milan host FC Zurich on Wednesday in the Champions League and travel to Bergamo to face Atalanta on Sunday.