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Dublin: 3 °C Saturday 24 March, 2018

'I am not a great coach' - AC Milan legend spearheading a remarkable turnaround

Gennaro Gattuso deflected some of the credit for his side’s form after Wednesday’s penalty shoot-out win against Lazio.

Gennaro Gattuso (file pic).
Gennaro Gattuso (file pic).
Image: Paolo Bruno

GENNARO GATTUSO INSISTED he is not a coaching guru after guiding AC Milan to the Coppa Italia final, though the Italian boss said he has surprised people since taking the job.

Milan set up a mouth-watering meeting with Serie A champions and rivals Juventus in the Coppa Italia decider following their dramatic 5-4 penalty shoot-out victory over Lazio on Wednesday.

The two-legged semi failed to produce a goal and penalties were needed, with Alessio Romagnoli scoring the winner for Milan after goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma saved two spot-kicks in Rome.

It extended Milan’s unbeaten streak to 13 matches across all competitions and head coach Gattuso — who replaced Vincenzo Montella in November having been promoted from his role with the Primavera youth team — revelled in the result.

“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 told Rai Sport ahead of Sunday’s Milan derby against rivals Inter.

It’s also 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.

“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.

“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.”

Gattuso will hope to keep the good streak going, with his side set to take on fourth-placed Inter on Sunday before facing off with Arsenal in the Europa League round of 16.

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