Saturday December 8 2018
Gattuso: 'Falque like a Suso clone'

Gennaro Gattuso warned Milan to be on alert against Torino, particularly Iago Falque, who is “almost like a clone” of Suso.

It kicks off on Sunday at 19.30 GMT, click here for a match preview.

Both teams will wear black armbands tomorrow, as Gigi Radice died on Friday. He spent most of his playing career at Milan and was the last Coach to win the Scudetto with Torino in 1976.

“Our first thoughts go to Mister Radice. We’ve lost a great man and send our condolences to his family,” said Gattuso at the start of his Press conference.

“It’s no coincidence that Torino have such a strong away record, as they combine physicality with quality, are always well-organised and know what they’re doing. It’s going to be very tough for us.”

Higuain returns from a two-match ban, although Gattuso notes this brings on other problems.

“We’re trying everything to get them playing together, but our focus has to be on the balance of the team and how to cover the pitch in the most effective manner. The important thing must be spotting the danger before it develops. It’s not about how many people are in attack, but the willingness to make sacrifices.

“Tomorrow I want to see that sense of belonging that has to be Milan’s secret weapon. I’ve seen that attitude in many of my players and we’ve got to cultivate that.

“Higuain had problems with injury and the ban, but he never lacked the desire to joke around. He just has to focus on helping the team, without the sensation he has to score at all costs.

“Our mentality is on the right track and we can feel the club is ambitious, so we all have to work together.”

Although the injury crisis remains, Mateo Musacchio and Alessio Romagnoli hope to return before Christmas.

“They both had tests four days ago and started running again. We’ll see how they are next week. I can say Mateo certainly is in better shape than Alessio, but both are on the right track.

“Fabio Borini has a bit of an ankle problem. I’d like to play with three in defence tomorrow, perhaps with Suso in a deeper role. I have a lot of ideas and we’ll test some of them out in training today.

“Toro have a lot of quality and are also more physical than we are on set plays. Iago Falque is similar to Suso, it’s almost as if they were cloned. It’s true, there are different characteristics, as Falque sprints away, takes men on and is dangerous on free kicks.”

While the injury crisis has been damaging for Milan, it has allowed Chelsea-owned Tiemoue Bakayoko to get some regular playing time.

“A player can always understand where he can improve and give more,” added Gattuso.

“I like Tiemoue’s physicality and the way he moves, but his technique and positioning did surprise me. He’s playing well and has so much potential.

“As for Hakan Calhanoglu, everyone knows I believe he can do much more. His performances haven’t been sharp and it’s my fault too, because I often played him even when he wasn’t fully fit.”

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