Krzysztof Piatek is struggling like many of his AC Milan team-mates and reportedly could be dropped, but he has Marco Giampaolo's backing.
Marco Giampaolo insists he cannot afford to give up on Krzysztof Piatek amid reports the misfiring AC Milan striker will be dropped again this weekend.
Milan have taken just six points from their first six Serie A matches of the season, with new head coach Giampaolo already endured four defeats, while Piatek has scored only twice.
The Poland international was outstanding last term, netting 13 times for Genoa in the first half of the league campaign before joining Milan in a €35million deal and notching a further nine.
Rather than back Piatek to rediscover this form and lift the Rossoneri, however, it has been reported Giampaolo is thinking of leaving him out of the side for Saturday's trip to Genoa - just as he started from the bench against Brescia in August.
The coach would not rule out dropping Piatek but was adamant he is standing by the 24-year-old.
"Milan cannot give up on the most prolific striker in the league from last season," Giampaolo told a news conference. "If he does not score, who does? I can't do it.
"Piatek needs to endure it. He might have to spend some time on the bench like against Brescia but we need to have faith in him. The important players need to be in the trenches."
Giampaolo does not believe he has reason to question the Milan players' desire to perform for him, but he would rather they focused on themselves than their coach.
"At times of difficulty, the first thing a person can do is focus more," Giampaolo said. "Players then have to give their lives for the shirt and not for me.
"I've seen enthusiasm from the players from the first day, in their work and the training methods. That means that the team believes in what it's doing.
"We need to have strength in defeat, keep things steady, roll up our sleeves and focus on the details."
Giampaolo is not interested in making excuses, though, adding: "Nobody was expecting this situation but we're in it now and we have to get out of it.
"I won't discuss the fans' discontent or protests, but the team hasn't expressed itself as well it should have."
"We need to take responsibility in the right way and find the composure to play well on the ball. I'm worried about these dynamics.
"Following the past two defeats, you can't fail to pay more attention. But we also need the right character to play football. There's no other way."