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ESPN FC  By ESPN

AC Milan 'disappears' in tough moments - Gennaro Gattuso

AC Milan manager Gennaro Gattuso has accused his team of disappearing during tough moments.

Milan fell 2-0 at Rijeka in their final Europa League group stage game on Thursday, but had already qualified for the knockout stage.

And Gattuso, who took over the team after Vincenzo Montella left the club last month, was concerned over the listless display in Croatia.

"I get the feeling that when something negative happens, the team just disappears and we need to work on that," Gattuso said after the match.

"We have got to change direction, because we are going nowhere like this.

"When you wear the Milan jersey, you need to respect it. All this really hurts me. We did not come here to lose.

"When we get a punch in the teeth, I get the feeling we never recover.

"We were embarrassing and the absence of some first-choice players should not be an excuse."

Gattuso, in just his second game in charge, called the loss a "burning defeat" and further accused his players of lacking respect for the Milan shirt.

"I was expecting more, this was a pretty poor show," he said.

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

He then pointed to the club's upcoming Serie A match with Bologna as a critical match.

"We needed a win as a morale booster. Sunday's match against Bologna is now even more important and we can't make any mistakes," said Gattuso.

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