Milan manager Gennaro Gattuso has admitted that his side is currently struggling with some end-of-season fatigue after they were held to a 1-1 draw by a spirited Udinese at San Siro on Tuesday night.
Kevin Lasagna's second half strike ensured that Krzysztof Piatek's opener for Milan would only be good enough for a point, as the Rossoneri squandered the opportunity to open the gap between themselves and fifth placed Lazio to six points.
The Italian manager has claimed that his team's drab and uninspiring recent performances is a severe symptom of the team's current slump, which has seen Milan fail to win in any of their last three Serie A matches.
Gattuso said to Sky Sport Italia: (as quoted by Football-Italia) “It’s a difficult moment, all teams get these during a season. It’s easy to talk about tactics and we are trying everything, but it’s just not working right now and we mustn’t give up,”
“We seemed physically sluggish today, especially after the goal. We must never give up. We keep playing with the handbrake on, like we’re afraid of something, and that takes energy away from you, both physical and mental.
“Everyone has ups and downs in a season, so now this is our moment of being down. We’ve got to stay calm, rediscover our confidence and try to avoid damaging ourselves. When you’re not physically sharp, it feels as if the ball weighs 120kg.”
Arguably worse than the result on Tuesday night, was the addition of two more key names to the Milan injury list, as Gianluigi Donnarumma and Lucas Paqueta both limped of during the first half of the match.
Gattuso said of his growing casualties: “Franck Kessie interrupted training after just 10 minutes yesterday and he had a fitness test this morning, while in the afternoon medical tests showed an inflammation, so we didn’t want to risk him.
“[Lucas] Paqueta had a nasty ankle sprain that was clear even from the touchline. Suso had a knock to his foot both yesterday and this morning, so he didn’t train, but we hope to have him against Juve. We’ll evaluate [Gianluigi] Donnarumma tomorrow, too.”