Nikola Kalinic must improve his training standards if he is to return to AC Milan’s first-team fold, Gennaro Gattuso has warned.
Croatia striker Kalinic was excluded from Milan’s 23-man matchday squad for the hard-earned 3-2 home win over Chievo on Sunday.
Andre Silva and fellow young forward Patrick Cutrone were both on target to further jeopardise Kalinic’s hopes of reclaiming his place in attack.
The 30-year-old has only scored four competitive goals since his off-season move from Fiorentina and will need to find another gear to break back into the in-form Serie A side.
“The rules are the same for everyone. Whoever doesn’t train well stays at home,” Gattuso told Premium Sport.
“They need to put everything into the two hours of training. I want to see professionalism and commitment on the pitch.
“[But] tomorrow is another day and in football you cannot hold a grudge. At this moment I need everyone.”
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Milan had to come from behind to see off Chievo at San Siro after two quickfire strikes had overturned Hakan Calhanoglu’s early opener.
An impressive second-half recovery saw them improve their league record to eight wins in nine and stay just five points shy of fourth-placed rivals Inter Milan.
However, a trip to Juventus after the international break will make for a stern examination of their progress under Gattuso.
“At the moment we can’t make mistakes. If we want to fight for a Champions League place, draws don’t do us any good,” the Rossoneri boss said.
“We need to recover our energy and take things one game at a time.”
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