Gennaro Gattuso explains why he moved Milan to a four-man defence and expects a tough test at Hellas Verona. “I didn’t like anything about” 3-5-2.
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The Rossoneri seem to have found their form since scrapping Vincenzo Montella’s three-man defence.
“I chose a return to the four-man defence after the loss to Rijeka,” revealed the Coach in his Press conference.
“I watched the first half with my staff and all the movements were wrong. I didn’t like anything about it. I then spoke to four or five players in the next training session.
“I like to have a direct rapport with my players. There has to be mutual respect and the locker room is about everyone helping each other. I expect a lot from my players on the pitch, but I leave them the responsibility in the locker room. I played for many years and often in there a lot of rubbish is spoken, so I try to avoid getting involved.”
Hakan Calhanoglu returns from injury and Gattuso trusts he can shine in the 4-3-3 formation.
“Go back and watch him at Bayer Leverkusen, where he was a box-to-box midfielder. He can do it all without problems thanks to his technique and stamina.
“Fabio Borini can also take on any role. If you tell him to be a goalkeeper, he’ll pull on the gloves and step right between the posts, because he just doesn’t give up. He puts passion and hunger into everything he does.”
These sides met on Wednesday evening for the Coppa Italia Round of 16, with Milan emerging 3-0 winners at San Siro.
“It’ll be a completely different game. It’s always tough at the Bentegodi and Verona push very hard in their own stadium. Our history also tells us this is a cursed arena for Milan and we always struggle here.”
Gattuso tried to shrug off the controversy over the last few days over Gianluigi Donnarumma’s contract situation and UEFA rejecting the Financial Fair Play voluntary agreement.
“We need to relax and focus, without talking about Donnarumma or UEFA, because we are a competitive team fighting for something important.
“Just technique and quality are not enough, you need those little things like the final sprint in the last minute or Suso tracking back to defend. We need determination and grit, as we can misplace a pass, but have to chase it back down straight away.”