Gennaro Gattuso admits Milan “are psychologically in dire need of a victory” in the Europa League with Rijeka.
It kicks off on Thursday at 18.00 GMT and the Rossoneri are already guaranteed top spot in their group, but new Coach Gattuso is seeking his first win after a dramatic 2-2 draw at Benevento.
“This is an important match for us, even if it doesn’t count for anything in terms of the table, but on psychological terms we are in dire need of a victory,” said Gattuso in his Press conference.
“I want to see the players prove their hunger and make it difficult for me to choose a starting XI. When playing in Europe with the Milan jersey, you must always have the respect and battle to the end.
“I expect them to suffer under pressure and show that commitment to the club cause. I want a team that is aware of its strengths, even if we have a lot to improve.
“I played in the UEFA Cup with Milan and we lost 4-0 away to Borussia Dortmund. Rijeka created such an atmosphere at San Siro with only 4,000 fans, but they seemed like 20,000, so I expect a similar noise in the second leg. They are also a very organised team who never just punt the ball upfield.”
Gattuso confirmed Manuel Locatelli and Lucas Biglia will start in midfield. “I could’ve brought along a few kids from the Primavera youth team, but it didn’t seem the right moment to underestimate any task.”