Gennaro Gattuso told AC Milan to keep believing they can qualify for the Champions League despite a second consecutive setback in defeat to Sampdoria.
Milan were unbeaten in 10 matches across all competitions and threatening to pull away in fourth place in Serie A before they went down 3-2 at home to rivals Inter ahead of the international break.
The Rossoneri endured a miserable return to action on Saturday as Gianluigi Donnarumma gifted Samp's Gregoire Defrel the decisive goal after just 33 seconds.
But Milan remain fourth ahead of seeing the chasing pack in action on Sunday and coach Gattuso is determined that his side will keep battling in the final nine games of the season.
"In the first half, we conceded the goal but we were unlucky with the incident," he told DAZN. "Then we always took too long on the ball and allowed them to get into position - we got it wrong.
"We were better in the second half, but the team played a good game. We came from the derby defeat and then there it is after 30 seconds.
"But the team is there, we tried and now we need to look ahead. The road is still long - there are nine games left - and we must continue to believe."