Milan Manager Gennaro Gattuso insisted that his side have nothing to lose against Arsenal.
Gattuso’s Rossoneri face Arsenal in the Europa League Round of 16 second-leg on Thursday at the Emirates. Milan go into the game with a two-goal deficit as Il Diavolo were defeated 2-0 at the San Siro in last Thursday’s first-leg.
“We know that we can do a lot better than in the first leg,” Gattuso told journalists in the press room. “We are proud to be able to play in such a nice stadium against a great team, we are a bit tired, but we have to try and have a good game”.
Gattuso was told that in the Europa League only once a team has been able to overturn a 2-0 deficit.
“We know it’s difficult, I’d be hypocritical to say anything else: in football, in sport, the best thing is to try to overturn the odds. We have not come here to have a picnic, we know it will be difficult for us as the San Siro defeat puts us in great difficulty, we knew we were facing a quality team: we did not underestimate them, they were just better than us, and tomorrow we will try to play a different game.
“I am not a coach who gives big speeches before a game, I stress the players too much during the ninety minutes, I can’t start talking even when they ought to relax.
“Experience is not bought at the supermarket and when you face a side of Arsenal’s quality a number of issues can occur, but we have to understand what went wrong last week and make sure we don’t make the same mistakes again. Tomorrow we have nothing to lose”.
Gattuso praised Arsenal’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Mesut Özil as the two midfielders caused problems for the Rossoneri in the first-leg, with the former scoring the opening goal.
“They are technical players, who can play in all positions. When Mkhitaryan plays on the wing he can create chances; since he arrived in England he has grown, has become stronger and I can even that his speed has improved.”
Gattuso mentioned that a few of his players will sit out the game as they are suffering from injuries.
“Tomorrow we will be without Abate and Calabria: Ignazio felt discomfort in the calf and it is best if he sits out, Davide’s injury was thought to be something minor but he is unable to play to his normal level. The boys are suffering from a bit of fatigue but that is not an excuse as I have strong players who can play at any time”.
André Silva scored his first Serie A goal at the weekend with a last minute that header that gifted Milan a 1-0 victory away to Genoa.
“He was reborn for you because he scored, but he had very little time to adapt to a different league. He is young, but at times he has shown what he can do, we have to wait for him in a totally different game. He must begin to understand what his strength is, the culture of work.
“In general, we do not finish off many of our scoring opportunities and need to get the final ball right more often. Nikola Kalinic moves very well, he just needs some confidence to put it in the back of the net. Goals fuel strikers and they need them to feel good”.