Gennaro Gattuso discussed the performance of the Milan team in their Coppa Italia Semi-Final in his post-match interview.
Milan defeated Lazio 5-4 in a sudden death penalty shoot-out in the second leg of the Coppa Italia Semi-Final after both games ended in a 0-0 draw. Il Diavolo extended their unbeaten run to 13 competitive games in all competitions and thanks to their result at the Stadio Olimpico, the Rossoneri will face Juventus in the Coppa Italia Final after the current Italian champions defeated Atalanta in the other semi-final.
After the match Gattuso was interviewed by Rai Sport and he reflected on the game.
“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, 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.”
Struggling Milan striker Nikola Kalinic replaced Patrick Cutrone during the second half as the red and black were lacking an attacking threat up front. However, the Croatian international was poor and missed a sitter in the 118th minute, when he blasted his attempt 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.”
Milan’s defence has improved under Gennaro Gattuso as in the four games they have played in the Coppa Italia this season, they are yet to concede a goal.
“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.”
Gattuso replaced Vincenzo Montella in November after the latter struggled to find a suitable formation for his players and a fixed starting eleven, winning just 6 out his first 14 games in the league. Despite Montella not having the impact Gattuso has, Rino praised the former Milan coach.
“It’s 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.”
Gattuso has been heavily praised for the way he has turned Milan’s season around, but was modest about his impact he’s had on the club since replacing Montella at the helm.
“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.”
Many rumours have circled round about Gattuso being given the Milan job for next season as well and even Milan Director of Sport Massimiliano Mirabelli is keen on giving the former Rossoneri midfielder the job on a permanent basis. Gattuso commented on this.
“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.”