Injuries no excuse for AC Milan boss Gattuso

Gennaro Gattuso has insisted AC Milan's injury list does not give it an excuse ahead of its Europa League match with Real Betis.

AC Milan's injury list is mounting ahead of their clash with Real Betis   -  Getty Images

AC Milan's mounting injury list cannot be used as an excuse for a poor performance in Thursday's crucial Europa League clash with Real Betis, Gennaro Gattuso has claimed.

Gattuso's side is missing a glut of first-team players, with Lucas Biglia, Mattia Caldara, Davide Calabria and Giacomo Bonaventura having been joined on the sidelines by leading scorer Gonzalo Higuain.

However, the head coach has insisted Milan, which sits second in Group F with six points from its opening three games, has enough quality to come good away to a Betis side, which tops the standings, but is struggling for consistency domestically.

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"The fact we have a few injured players can't be an excuse," Gattuso, whose side has won its last three matches to rise up to fourth in Serie A, told a news conference.

"We need to play a brave game. We are playing with less quality, but we are showing more character. We have to express our football."

"Caldara and Biglia are out. We hope to have Calabria back on Sunday [against Juventus], the same goes for Higuain. I don't think Bonaventura will make it."

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"Thursday's game is very important for us, there's a lot at stake. We must not repeat the San Siro performance [a 2-1 loss to Betis]."

Milan's last defeat came in its home meeting with Betis, as goals from Antonio Sanabria and Giovani Lo Celso boosted Quique Setien's side. Patrick Cutrone scored a late consolation in that encounter, and Gattuso lauded the youngster's progress.

"He has grown a lot in the last few months. Cutrone has improved a lot and working with such players as Higuain and Suso can be of great help to him," added the coach.

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