Gianluigi Donnarumma backs Marco Giampaolo to turn things around at AC Milan

AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma insists the players are fully behind under-fire manager Marco Giampaolo.

The 52-year-old only took over from Gennaro Gattuso in the summer, having left Sampdoria, but has come under instant pressure as the Rossoneri have claimed just six points from their opening five Serie A fixtures.

That pressure has intensified following their derby defeat to Inter last weekend and the 2-1 loss at Torino on Thursday.

Reports in Italy have suggested that Giampaolo’s position is under imminent threat ahead of their clash with Fiorentina at the San Siro, but Donnarumma insists he has the full support of the players.

“We all stand by our coach and feel bad because we played well against Torino,” Donnarumma said in an interview reported by Milan.

“We showed some good progress. We stand by our coach and have to work hard to bounce back.

“We are disappointed and when you lose it’s normal to feel this way. Our good performance still stands including some quality plays but the final result was not good.

“This is also why the team needs to work hard. We have to channel this disappointment to our game on Sunday at the San Siro.

“Determination and character are needed for our next game. I also call on the fans to support us because we are working hard and our progress was evident against Torino.”

Fiorentina have endured similar struggles at the start of the new season, but did pick up their first win at home to Sampdoria on Wednesday.

They sit 15th, a point and two places behind Milan, and midfielder Milan Badelj believes a weight has been lifted from the Viola.

“It feels great now we have finally got this win under our belts,” Badelj said in an interview with the club.

“I think we deserved it and not just in that game but since the start of the season.

“Of course it doesn’t all end now that we’ve won one. We have to build on it, ride the wave and keep trying to win every match.

“To stop AC Milan you need intensity and clear heads. You need to be calm and confident enough to take the game to them because San Siro is quite a place to play at.

“But I have no doubt that we will be able to do all that.”

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