Gennaro Gattuso believes Milan are still surpassing expectations after beating Fiorentina, even if they “dropped too many points and aren’t consistent.”
Hakan Calhanoglu’s glancing header proved decisive for a 1-0 victory at the Stadio Franchi, which keeps them within three points of the Champions League places.
Atalanta have been a revelation this season, as not only are they in fourth place – third awaiting Inter’s game against Chievo on Monday – but also reached the Coppa Italia Final.
“After Atalanta went 2-0 up, I turned off the TV. I tried to take a nap, that didn’t work, so I took a shower instead,” he told Sky Sport Italia of this afternoon’s 2-1 win over Genoa.
“This is a team with strengths and weaknesses. We’ve wasted many chances to stay up in fourth, we need to mature and have many young players who lost confidence in key moments.
“If someone had told us at the start of the season that we’d be level with Roma and four points ahead of Lazio, nobody would’ve believed us. The problem is we could’ve done even better and dropped too many points.
“We played badly at Parma, but not against Torino, as until the goal they hadn’t created any problems for us. Our problem this year is that we need to be more consistent, as once we stop moving off the ball, creating spaces and passing channels, we become static and stop playing.
“I think this team is giving so much and the regret is that we weren’t able to shake it off when we had some negative moments. For instance, Krzysztof Piatek shouldn’t worry about his goals, because he started the season so well at Genoa and then with us, he doesn’t need to worry.”
Gattuso is famous for his grit and determination, but also showed his ability to put clashes behind him, such as with his Milan predecessor Vincenzo Montella and midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko.
“I never had a problem with Vincenzo, we never argued, I admire him greatly and he left me a team that opened up my mind. We were teammates for Italy, we said hello before kick-off, it’s all fine.
“As for Bakayoko, I had put it all behind me the day after. I don’t care if a player tells me to go to Hell, the important thing is that he shows respect to his teammates in the dressing room. I have to think about what is best for the club, for AC Milan.
“If the players need to swear at me for the good of the club, then I can handle that.”