Monday May 6 2019
Gattuso: 'I'll talk to Bakayoko my way'

Milan Coach Gennaro Gattuso will sort out the Tiemoue Bakayoko row behind closed doors “using my language, which I can’t do on TV. We'll meet in a room eye-to-eye and see.”

The 2-1 victory over Bologna puts them back in fifth place on a par with Roma, only three points behind Atalanta and four adrift of rivals Inter.

“These are important points, as we were sixth earlier today, now we are right there for the Champions League. We’re not in great shape and knew we had to work hard, which we did,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.

It was a tense week already, as the squad went into a five-day training retreat to prepare for this game, largely because Bakayoko turned up an hour late to training because he ran out of petrol.

“The players were angry with me because I kept them away from their families for five days, so I told them to turn that anger into positive energy on the field and I think they did that.

“We were a little predictable, but anyone who has played football knows in these difficult moments, it’s best to keep it simple and avoid costly errors.”

However, it was a game filled with tension, as Lucas Paqueta was sent off for slapping the referee’s hand away after a booking and will be suspended against Fiorentina.

In the opening minutes, Gattuso asked Bakayoko to warm up after a Lucas Biglia injury, but he was so slow that the Coach called up Jose Mauri instead and the two men exchanged clear insults on the touchline.

“What happens is our business and it happens in our dressing room. I asked Bakayoko to get ready, he took a while, so I called up Jose Mauri.

“We wear a prestigious jersey, I have to be clear and honest. I waited seven or eight minutes and he hadn’t even put his shin-pads on. I’ve told many Coaches to get stuffed in my career, it ended there. We’ll see, it’s all about respect.

“The players can say anything to me, but the main thing is that they don’t lack respect for their teammates and the dressing room atmosphere.

“We have other priorities right now. We’ll see at the end of the season, like a school report, who behaved well and badly. Anyone can insult me on the touchline, but we’ll meet in a room eye-to-eye and see.

“I want to sort this out in the dressing room and talk in my language, which I cannot do on television. So we have to focus on the victory and not waste time on other issues.”

Now Milan risk being without Paqueta for several weeks, as he was sent off or slapping the referee’s hand away.

“Paqueta is young and I don’t think he even realised what he was doing, putting his hands on the referee. It irritates me and we have to improve that aspect too, but he’s young and naïve.

“We have to think only of ourselves. We ended the game not with 10 men, but seven, as there were several with cramp and who hadn’t played 90 minutes in a long time.

“If you look at our squad, we’re giving our all at this moment. We’re not in the best shape right now, that’s obvious, but with all our injuries, the change of club ownership and everything else we’ve been through, we’re doing all we can.

“I want to thank the 50,000 fans who showed up tonight, as I thought they were going to jeer us, but they cheered the team on from start to finish.”

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