Gennaro Gattuso says the inability of AC Milan’s multi-million pound signings to gel as a team has hindered their progress in recent months.
Milan spent heavily during the close season to try to reignite their fortunes after failing to finish in the top five over the past four campaigns.
The likes of Leonardo Bonucci, Andre Silva, Andrea Conti and Hakan Calhanoglu all arrived for big money, but Milan have flattered to deceive.
After two wins in nine games Vincenzo Montella was sacked and replaced by youth coach Gattuso but he has also struggled to inspire the players.
Heading into this weekend’s Serie A clash with Atalanta the Rossoneri sit eighth in the table, 14 points off the top four and a Champions League place.
Questions as to why Milan have struggled have been asked in recent weeks, and Gattuso believes a lack of cohesion is the main issue.
“The problem with this team is not how it works,” he told a news conference. “There is experience from some of the older players, who with an extra word can fix positioning issues.
“But at the first sign of difficulty this squad disappears from the game. You can see it from the footage, they just lose their way.
Rino Gattuso: “We are making some slight improvements. When can we resume looking at the table? It’s not the right moment to do this. We have to think game-by-game and just focus on playing”#MilanAtalanta
— AC Milan (@acmilan) December 22, 2017
“Every time we allow the opposition to come forward, we look ready to concede at any moment. As soon as we get stretched out, all our weaknesses are on show.
“We have to train the mentality, because physical fitness is not enough.
“I get the feeling my team doesn’t understand the danger in some situations. It’s something we need to improve, otherwise we risk another embarrassment.
“Every now and then we don’t seem to play as a team. That [cohesion] is lacking.”
Bonucci has been criticised after failing to make an impact since his surprise move from Juventus, and there were claims he could leave in January.
Milan have vehemently denied the reports, and Gattuso was full of praise for the 30-year-old.
“Bonucci is a leader and a very important player for us,” he added. “He’s always the first to take responsibility.”
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