MILAN (Reuters) – AC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso is angry that his team will host Parma at lunchtime in Serie A on Sunday, less than 72 hours after playing a Europa League match.
Gattuso described the decision as “absurd” on Friday and, although he was calmer in Saturday’s pre-match news conference, the fiery former midfielder said he would have liked more time to prepare for the Parma match.
“I’m not against playing at 12.30 pm (1130 GMT) as some have written, I was just questioning the lack of recovery time, given that we played on Thursday evening in the Europa League, without wanting to offend anyone,” he told reporters.
“If we played later, I would have been able to prepare for the match with more calm.
“On the other hand, I’m happy about playing at 12.30 because we get a better crowd than if we played later.”
Milan, who beat FC Dudelange of Luxemburg 5-2 on Thursday, are fifth in Serie A, one place and two points ahead of Sunday’s opponents.
“Parma are a team who play in 38 metres of the pitch,” Gattuso added. “They played with four out-and-out defenders, they are a team built with certain criteria and with players who are suitable for that type of football.”
Milan will reach the Europa League last 32 with a draw at Olympiakos Piraeus on Dec. 13 or a defeat by a one-goal margin.
(Reporting by Brian Homewood; Editing by Ken Ferris)