MILAN (Reuters) – Beleaguered AC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso said he wanted his squad to turn into 23 angry dogs for Sunday’s match against Sampdoria as they attempt to avoid a third successive defeat in all competitions.
Italian media said that the combative former midfielder has been given two matches to save his job after last Sunday’s derby defeat to Inter Milan was followed by a 2-1 home loss to Real Betis in the Europa League on Thursday.
“I don’t even care about tactics, I want to see a team that is ready to suffer,” he told reporters. “I want to see 23 angry dogs, eager to prove themselves.”
Gattuso, appointed 11 months ago for his first Serie A coaching job, said he did not want to be the centre of attention.
“We don’t need to talk about the coach all the time,” he said. “My job is get results, the talk should not be centred around whether or not my job is at risk.”
“I am not dead and buried, some of you still have to understand that. It hurts when there are defeats, but I know how much I can still give to this club.”
Gattuso, whose side are 12th in Serie with 12 points from eight games, wants his team to start enjoying football again.
“We are not having fun at the moment,” he said. “We need to rediscover our desire to play football, moving the ball around and chasing opponents down.”
He added: “It’s a long season, if we give up in October and start looking for excuses, it gets more difficult. We must believe in what we are doing, with more conviction.”
(Writing by Brian Homewood; editing by Martyn Herman)