Thursday March 1 2018
Gattuso: 'Not a guru, nor a chump'

Gennaro Gattuso saw “a night of suffering” for Milan and Lazio in the Coppa Italia semi-final. “I’m not a tactical guru, nor someone who hasn’t worked to get here.”

The Rossoneri kept a sixth consecutive clean sheet and extended their unbeaten run to 13 competitive matches, drawing 0-0 with Lazio after two legs and extra time.

They won the semi-final to set up the showdown with Juventus thanks to a sudden death penalty shoot-out.

“Lazio are a side who put four or five goals past everyone at home, and are one of the top scorers in Europe. They combine physicality with great technique,” the Coach told Rai Sport.

“We did well today, ensuring they never found the through channels. We could’ve scored, we could’ve conceded and it was a night of suffering.”

Milan could’ve won it at the 118th minute when Nikola Kalinic went clear, but he blasted over the bar.

“At the Kalinic miss, I thought that I had to work on the minds of the players. A mistake can happen, every player knows that. Nikola has a problem with his thigh muscle and grit his teeth to play. He’s a great guy, a great player and a champion.”

The Rossoneri have not conceded a single goal in the Coppa Italia this season.

“We are working on concepts, attacking the space, playing in more reduced spaces and getting to the opposition goal with as few passes as possible. People don’t notice, but we don’t concede because we all work to cover the spaces and the whole team does that.

“I know that I drive them crazy sometimes in training, but it’s paying off and will all be worth it in the end. This is a very young side and we must get back to being the team that the fans dream of.

“It’s also important to give credit to Vincenzo Montella, as he introduced some important concepts and you can still see his desire to keep possession and move the ball cleanly.

“I want to clear this up, as I am not a great Coach. I’m still in the early days, I’m not a guru of the bench and I’ve achieved nothing yet.

“At the same time, I am not the person that some seemed to think I was. People forget I’ve been working over these five years, I won a league title in Lega Pro, I had some very tough experiences in difficult circumstances abroad.

“You don’t learn this profession through books, you learn it by getting smashed in the teeth by setbacks. I’ve had some and I will have many more.

“This is a dream and I am a very lucky guy who has been given this extraordinary opportunity. If I have the chance to stay at Milan, then of course I’ll stay, because this is my home. If I can’t stay, then I’ll have some other experience.”

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