October 24, 2018 / 3:33 PM / 2 months ago

Soccer: Gattuso dismisses speculation over his future as "pub talk"

Soccer Football - Europa League - Group Stage - Group F - F91 Dudelange v AC Milan - Stade Josy Barthel, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg - September 20, 2018 AC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso before the match. REUTERS/Eric Vidal/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) - AC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso has dismissed reports that his job is on the line as “pub talk.”

Both the Gazzetta dello Sport and its rival Corriere dello Sport ran stories on Wednesday which said that Milan were running out of patience with Gattuso and had considered former Italy coach Roberto Donadoni as a possible replacement.

But Gattuso, under pressure following Sunday’s 1-0 derby defeat by Inter Milan, brushed aside questions about his future, saying he spoke daily to club directors Leonardo Araujo and Paolo Maldini.

“Every day, I have a discussion with Leonardo and Maldini, and sometimes we don’t agree on things, as in any family, but there is always respect and we look each other in the eye,” he told reporters. “The rest is just pub talk.”

“I’ve dealt with similar pressure at other clubs I have worked at,” he added. “I’ve lost six league games since I’ve been here and it seems like I lost them all.”

Gattuso, whose side host Real Betis in a Europa League tie on Thursday, said he was upset by suggestions that they played for a draw in Sunday’s game, which Inter won in stoppage time.

“I feel offended when people say we played for a draw. We are team which simply didn’t manage to fulfil our potential,” he said. “When you play for a draw, you go 4-5-1 and park the bus. Did anyone see a line of five and two barricades?”

Gattuso, a fiery former midfielder who spent most of his playing career at Milan, had never previously coached a Serie A team until he replaced Vincenzo Montella last November.

“I saw a team that couldn’t express itself on the ball, but I saw a character in the team that I hadn’t seen for a long time,” he added.

Writing by Brian Homewood, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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