Football

Milan coach Gattuso’s job on the line: Reports

Italian newspaper says former coach Montella could be reinstated if Milan struggle in their next two matches

AC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso, who has been in the job for just a month, reportedly has two games to salvage his tenure.

The former World Cup and Champions League winner has overseen two wins, three losses and a draw since he took over from Vincenzo Montella on Nov 27.

COPPA ITALIA QUARTER-FINAL
AC MILAN INTER MILAN

Corriere dello Sport reported that should Milan fail to perform in their next two matches, against local rivals Inter Milan in the Coppa Italia quarter-final tomorrow morning (Singapore time) and against Fiorentina in Serie A on Saturday, Gattuso could be sacked.

La Stampa, meanwhile, suggested that the Rossoneri could turn back to the recently sacked Montella should they dispense with former youth coach Gattuso.

It is believed that Montella's contract has yet to be terminated, so reinstating him would be a viable option.

Gattuso, however, said that Milan's problems are not down to him.

After the Rossoneri's 2-0 loss to Atalanta on Sunday, the 39-year-old said: "It's a complicated situation, the fans are protesting and we can't think of continuing the season like this.

"But I don't see people holding back or not trying to give their best.

"I see people who give their all, but evidently we are fragile.

"Today I am the Milan coach, but I am the least of our problems.

"It's not just about fitness levels, but here is also the psychological component.

"When what we are doing is not enough, we must become a team, and to do that we need to make fewer mistakes.

"If I thought that I was the problem, then I would resign immediately. If I thought the players weren't behind me, I'd resign. But that's not it."

Despite the reports in the Italian media, AC Milan's sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli is backing Gattuso.

He told Sky Sport Italia: "Rino is a great man, a great coach.

"We knew that we were facing a lot of problems and he lives Milan to the full, caring so much about this side.

"During these difficult times, it's important to be men, stick together and work to get the ship back into the harbour safely.

"We must shoulder every imaginable criticism.

"I am protective of the squad because I am responsible for new buys, contract renewals and confirmations.

"The biggest responsibility I feel is mine and therefore criticism must be aimed at me."

While the situation at local rivals Inter is nowhere as dire, the Nerazzurri are also in a bit of rut.

Since going top of Serie A earlier this month, Luciano Spalletti's team have yet to win a league match.

Their only success has come in the Coppa Italia, when they needed penalties to see off third-tier Pordenone.

Despite suffering back-to-back defeats, Spalletti is unconcerned ahead of the Milan Derby.

After the 1-0 loss to Sassuolo on Saturday, he told Mediaset Premium: "I am even more convinced than ever that Inter know what they're doing, because I saw the right performances in both these games." - WIRE SERVICES

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