AC Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso highlighted his side’s defensive performance in their 1-0 win over Ludogorets in the Europa League on Thursday, adding the Rossoneri players were no longer “running in all different directions.”
Milan cruised to the comfortable victory in their round-of-32 second-leg tie at the San Siro, and the legendary midfielder was pleased with the direction in which his team is heading.
“I am happy we kept a clean sheet, as that’s something I was focusing on in training lately,” Gattuso told Sky Sport Italia.
“It’s good that nobody had a cramp after 90 minutes, but it’s about attitude too. I am very, very happy with the growth of the team and those who haven’t played as much and ensured they were ready when called.
“We have to take it one game at a time, prepare for a very difficult match against Roma on Sunday. It’s true Shakhtar Donetsk hadn’t played for two months due to the winter break, but Roma dominated them for 45 minutes [in Champions League play on Wednesday].
“Andre Silva did what we asked. He didn’t have the finish, but did everything else. Patrick Cutrone worked in a role that is not really his, but he can do and we’ll look at that again in future.
“When you work on defence in training, players do sulk a bit, as did I when I was a player, but the fewer goals we concede, the more eager they are to work on defending. We are improving, we no longer have players running in all different directions, we close down the ball more. We’re getting better, but not there yet.”
Milan director Massimiliano Mirabelli recently said he couldn’t see a future without Gattuso as manager.
Asked about that future, the former Italy international said: “You have to ask the club that. I always give the same answers, because it’s what I believe. It is a great honour for me to be the Milan coach.
“It’s a lot of pressure and responsibility too, but I like that. I am eternally grateful to Mirabelli and Fassone for giving me this opportunity and I hope it continues.”
Fabio Borini scored the goal in Thursday’s win, and he told reporters after the match he wants to put pressure on his boss to include him in the squad.
“We knew Ludogorets would start very strong, it was important not to concede and we also scored a goal that gave us more confidence,” the versatile forward told Sky Sport Italia.
“I do everything to make it difficult for the coach to leave me out, then we’ll see what happens.”
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