Gennaro Gattuso is only thinking about his own side and says he wants to see tomorrow the same spirit Milan had against Bologna last week.
The three rounds of Serie A will decide whether Milan will be in next year’s Champions League or not, and the Rossoneri have to win all the games starting from tomorrow’s game against Fiorentina (20:30 CEST kickoff).
“This week of European football teaches us that you have to believe? There was no need to see the comebacks in the Champions League of Tottenham and Liverpool,” Gattuso said in today’s press conference at Milanello. “Atalanta-Genoa? Genoa are playing for survival, we’ve seen in the last few years that nobody gives you anything. Let’s think about doing our own work. Tomorrow’s game will be very, very difficult.
“If I’m not mistaken we haven’t won in Firenze since 2014. They’re not picking up wins but I’ve studied them and they’re a team who can put you in great danger. Up front they have some strong and quick players, so tomorrow we’ll need a great game physically, mentally and technically.
“If I got back some of my old Milan compared to how we’ve been in the last 50 days? The thing that I’m sorry about the most is that the win over Bologna went overshadowed, there has been more talk about the incident with Bakayoko. I told you we’d talk in the dressing room and that’s what happened. I’ve seen a team that has trained well and has done what I’ve asked. Tomorrow we’ll need a great game. If we do things well we can make it difficult for them.
“What I want to see again from what we saw against Bologna? I want to see the same spirit, the same desire to dig in and to take to the field without fear. Despite not playing well, in the last 10 games we were the team that created more, while Bologna in recent games haven’t conceded more than two shots on goal per game. It’s true that technically we’ve not played very well, but it was an open game. I want to see that spirit, being on the field without fear.
“It’ll be a special match for Montella? I have to think only about my game and try to manage to win it. Montella has been training for a long time, he is a talented coach, but I must focus on my own team. I have great respect for Montella and his work, I have nothing else to say.
“We are using players who seemed to be in the margins? These players have done great thing during the year, our strength was often those who played less. Everyone wants to talk about a disappointing season, but we’ve ahead of Lazio and level on points with Roma. We must go on because we have so much to play for. If the team is able to win the last three games? We will try, we must make ourselves ready both mentally and physically and then we can play against anyone.
“After tomorrow’s game it should be a smooth sailing? No. We’re focused on Fiorentina but things won’t be easier afterwards. We face Frosinone, who even though are already relegated, are never easy to deal with. Then, we will go against SPAL and they will want to make their record of points in Serie A. The XI choices? Tomorrow you’ll see. The important thing is to have consistency. But then there are comparisons and the club always comes first. I’ve never held a grudge, just as the players haven’t.
“If the players have always put the good of Milan in front of everything? I put my hand in the fire on this one. There were a lot of times we could have given up but this is a team that thrives on difficulties. This team have always come out and shown their face.
“What do we have more than our rivals for fourth place? I don’t know… but we’ll do our best to do well in these three games, because we want it and we’ll play for it until the end. If I feel that we can get to fourth place? If we lose energy over what happens with other teams then we’ll be deflated. The biggest request is that from January until 20 days ago we were in the Champions League zone and we lost points on the way. Now let’s think about chasing and making as many points as possible. Then we’ll see what happens. The regret is having missed the opportunity to accelerate.
“If I expect to get recognition if Milan finish fourth? I know what I say to the board, you [journalists] keep writing about it. I just have to think about picking up as many points as possible. Scaroni spoke with confidence and serenity in such a delicate moment? We must make everyone feel this trust so that we can make the most of it. Personally, I don’t need to be caressed, I don’t like caresses… even when my wife does it. I have this character, I don’t feel like a stranger when there’s tense air, I feel at ease. The caresses must be made to the players, what happens to me takes 2nd place.
“There have been some positive signs during this week? Biglia is called up but he is not available [to play]. Still, it’s right that he’s in contact with the team. Paquetá’s trained well, even if he’s banned. Çalhanoğlu has trained and is available. If there’s a problem with Piątek? There’s no problem… he probably scored too many goals before. He needs to remain calm and put himself at the team’s disposal. Such periods are normal for strikers, it doesn’t matter who scores as long as we win.
“If players like Abate and Zapata, who have expiring contracts, can still have a role in this Milan? It’s a problem of the club, my task is to coach the team. I don’t get involved in contractual matters. Abate and Zapata have been here for many years. If I have to judge them for how they behave and how they train then they’ve never given up a comma… I can only have positive words for the professionalism demonstrated over the years. It’s a choice that belongs to the club.”