The in-form Rossoneri are on track for a return to the Champions League, but coach Gennaro Gattuso will not allow himself to look long term.
Gennaro Gattuso says he is “not building anything” at AC Milan despite an improved run of form restabilising his position at the club.
Gattuso’s side are unbeaten in six games in all competitions and sit fourth in the Serie A table, occupying the league’s final Champions League qualification place.
Despite the Rossoneri’s strides forward under his leadership, reports Gattuso could be replaced have been a regular background presence throughout his reign.
Arsene Wenger and Antonio Conte have both been linked with the San Siro club but Gattuso is ignoring media chatter and staying focused on his work week by week.
“At Milan I’m not building anything, we just have to prepare the games that are coming, one at a time,” Gattuso said. “Today nothing can be planned, football has changed. There are so many unknowns. Ten to 12 years ago it was more difficult for a player to leave.
“So we have to focus on what we have to do. We are in good hands, [Paolo] Maldini and Leonardo know how to move on the market: they have taken two important players like [Krzysztof] Piatek and [Lucas] Paqueta.
“I do not go so fast with my head. I am one who touches reality with my own hands. Today I have to go through the results and the daily work, as it is for my players. In my path I do not have these kind of thoughts, I think only of the next game. I have to give my best and put those around me in the best conditions.
“I do not want compliments, I have to thank only the team that is doing important things. At this moment, as well as before, I read little. I have to continue, I think I can do this job and I do not need to be told that I’m good.
“I know what I can give in a group and we will continue. They slaughter coaches who have won as much as [Jose] Mourinho, [Carlo] Ancelotti and [Massimiliano] Allegri…”
Coach Gattuso on Strinic and Zapata: “Strinic has resumed training with the team, he missed the Atalanta game because he had not trained for three weeks. Zapata will be available in about 7-8 days time”#MilanEmpoli
— AC Milan (@acmilan) February 21, 2019
But even though Empoli have not won away from home all season, Gattuso warned Milan they cannot afford to be complacent as they seek a third straight Serie A win.
“I am very worried about tomorrow,” he added. “Empoli have a coach that prepares well, combines technique and defensive organisation. Easy games do not exist. We must not underestimate the opponent.
“We must be very careful, because Iachini is incredible in the preparation of the matches. Empoli know how to dribble and go vertically, on the set pieces they know how to play well. The game will be difficult tomorrow.”