MILAN (Reuters) – AC Milan head coach Gennaro Gattuso has insisted that finishing the Serie A season ahead of rivals Inter is not an objective for his team as he targets a return to the Champions League.
Inter fell to a 1-0 Serie A defeat at Juventus on Friday, giving fourth-placed Milan the chance to move within a point of their city neighbours with victory at home to Torino on Sunday.
“I’m not thinking about that,” Gattuso told a news conference. “I’m thinking about tomorrow’s game. Inter are strong and are showing that in the Champions League as well.
“Being attached to them is an extra incentive but finishing ahead of them isn’t an objective.
“I’m only thinking about improving my players and finishing in the Champions League places.”
Inter will qualify for the last 16 if they get more points at home to PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday than second-placed Tottenham Hotspur manage at Group B winners Barcelona.
Torino are unbeaten on their travels this season and head to San Siro on Sunday in sixth place, four points behind Milan.
“It’s not a coincidence that Torino have such a strong away record,” Gattuso said.
“They have physicality and technical quality, are always well-organised by a prepared coach (Walter Mazzarri). It’s going to be very tough for us.”
(Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie; editing by Ken Ferris)