Milan director of sport Massimiliano Mirabelli asked fans and critics to blame him rather than the players after another setback.
Despite spending the week in a training retreat for intensive training sessions, the Rossoneri were again swept aside 2-0 by Atalanta at San Siro.
“We already apologised to the fans last week (after the 3-0 defeat to Hellas Verona) and we do so again,” Mirabelli told Sky Sport Italia.
“We knew that this project was a long and tortuous proposition, although perhaps we expected fewer difficulties. We don’t have time to let our heads drop or create excuses. There’s Inter in the Coppa Italia and we must face it with the utmost dignity.
“You all analysed these players, with so many internationals. There are some difficulties and that is disappointing. More than disappointment for the lost games, we are sorry for the fans who cheer us on. We must win the people back and prove wrong those who say this squad is not worthy of Milan.”
Vincenzo Montella was fired to make way for Primavera youth team Coach Gennaro Gattuso, but the situation has not improved.
“Rino is a great man, a great Coach. We knew that we were facing a lot of problems and he lives Milan to the full, caring so much about this side.
“During these difficult times, it’s important to be men, stick together and work to get the ship back into the harbour safely. We must shoulder every imaginable criticism.
“I am protective of the squad because I am responsible for new buys, contract renewals and confirmations. The biggest responsibility I feel is mine and therefore criticism must be aimed at me.
“I am proud of all these players who try so hard, but for various reasons we struggle to become a team. We are all very clear on what the issues are and I am happy to take the brunt of the criticism if it means shielding the squad.”