AC Milan manager Gennaro Gattuso has refused to blame fatigue for his side's performance during their 1-0 win at home to Sassuolo in Serie A, whilst stating that the team needs to improve before people can celebrate the Rossoneri moving above bitter rivals Inter into third.
An own goal from Sassuolo defender Pol Lirola was enough to see Milan squeeze past their opponents on Saturday night despite being second best for much of the game.
Gattuso has admitted that Milan will have to improve if they are to maintain their new league position, whilst also asking players and fans not to get too carried away yet, with 12 games still left to play in Serie A.
Gattuso told Sky Sport Italia (as quoted by Forza Italian Football): “Tonight we managed to keep the positive results going, but we have to do better on a technical level. I don’t want to hear about fatigue, I want to understand why were aren’t playing brilliantly.
“We struggled against an organised opponent [Sassuolo], who did well in the defensive phase. We can do much better when we have the ball.
“Now we have to be good. We have to play 12 finals in Serie A. I don’t want anyone to start celebrating [getting third place], neither the fans or players. What we are doing isn’t enough, we need to do more."
The Italian also admitted that a lack of rotation within his squad has left some of his players in need of a rest, however he has called on them to find form once again as Milan push to finish the season strongly.
“We are tired and those who have played football know that very well. There are players who have played 10 or 11 games in a row. It isn’t an excuse but there are some who have played a few games below their level.
“The players are good, and I think they are all doing everything they can, covering as much of the pitch as they can.
“Today, Sassuolo played well and stopped us from getting shots off, and apart from Boga’s effort we didn’t have to deal with much.”