Gattuso angry at 'burning' defeat to Rijeka

Gattuso angry at 'burning' defeat to Rijeka
By Reuters

08/12/2017 at 08:53Updated 08/12/2017 at 08:55

MILAN, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Angry AC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso singled out forward Andre Silva for criticism after his side suffered a "burning" 2-0 defeat to Croatia champions Rijeka in the Europa League on Thursday.

Milan had already qualified for the knockout stages and rested a number of regulars, but that did not stop the famously combative former midfielder from letting rip at his players -- in particular the new signing from Porto.

"It's a burning defeat. I take full responsibility for the choices I made, which are only mine," Gattuso told reporters.

"AC Milan's shirt deserves respect. This bothers me a lot. We didn't come here to lose. We made some pretty clear choices, trying to start those who needed more playing time.

"But we need to turn things around and a change in mentality. We need more intensity and desire and all these things weren't there today."

Turning to Silva, he said: "We all know his qualities, he's a player of international level.

"He struggled today, he looked like a foreign object in the team. When you have the opportunity to play for 90 minutes wearing AC Milan's shirt you have to do more".

Gattuso, who has never previously coached at Serie A team, was appointed 10 days ago to replace Vincenzo Montella, sacked after Milan's disappointing start to the season.

In Gattuso's first game in charge last Sunday, Milan were held 2-2 by bottom-of-the-table Benevento, who had lost their previous 14 games. They host Bologna in Serie A at San Siro on Sunday. (Reporting by Brian Homewood; Editing by John O'Brien)

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