'The team is not dead' - Gattuso defiant over AC Milan's struggles

A defeat to Sampdoria on Sunday would be AC Milan's third in a row, yet coach Gennaro Gattuso insists his team has not thrown in the towel.

AC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso   -  Getty Images

A defiant Gennaro Gattuso insisted he can still turn things around at AC Milan following back-to-back losses.

The pressure has increased on the 40-year-old Milan coach after Sunday's 1-0 derby defeat to Inter was followed by a home loss to Real Betis in the Europa League four days later.

Milan will kick off against Sampdoria on Sunday in the bottom half of the Serie A table and a third loss in eight days could leave it even further adrift of the European qualification places.

Nevertheless, Gattuso came out fighting at his pre-match press conference on Saturday as he stressed he still believed in his players.

"We come from two heavy defeats but I am not defeated, the team is not dead," he said.

"I am the type that gets upset when these defeats arrive but I know what I can give to my boys and the team, we have to look ahead, I want to see great character and desire for redemption, and also serenity.

"We need to play freely and find those flashes that go beyond our tactics and formation. We need to find that extra spark at the individual level.

"When you are not able to implement what you prepare within the week it is annoying. Our last games were not played well technically and I believe we can do better than this."

Milan directors Leonardo and Paolo Maldini spoke to the players on Friday, but Gattuso maintained his squad still has faith in him.

"The boys do not have to play for me, but they have to go in search of the result, I know they really believe in me," he added.

"We must continue to work because what we are doing is not enough, we are not talking about alibis: let us take responsibility.

"I want to see 23 lions on the pitch, even without tactics also, but with a sense of belonging and desire for victory, I want to see an AC Milan willing to do anything to win."

Gattuso revealed he could be without both Franck Kessie and Hakan Calhanoglu for the game.

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