Gattuso encouraged by AC Milan's rampant second-half showing
Gennaro Gattuso was buoyed by AC Milan's second-half display against Empoli, as the Rossoneri made light work of the Serie A strugglers on Friday.
Milan were frustrated in the first half at San Siro, but two goals in as many minutes set them up for a dominant second-half display.
The in-form Krzysztof Piatek got the opener – his seventh goal for Milan in all competitions – with Franck Kessie putting Empoli out of sight before Samu Castillejo capped an impressive display with a crisp finish.
With their unbeaten run now extending to eight league matches, Milan are just a point behind third-placed Inter, and Gattuso believes his side have finally settled into a system that suits them.
"I was not at all pleased with my team for a while. We didn't fill the penalty area effectively, we moved the ball too slowly and didn't have the right movements," Gattuso told Sky Sport Italia.
"I was the first to take the blame, it was primarily my fault. I can't promise anything to anyone.
"All I can say is this is a very young team with some very interesting players.
"We have to create some momentum and this win is a great example, because it was not easy in the circumstances and to step up several gears after such a poor first half. It bodes well."
Gattuso's focus will now switch to Tuesday's Coppa Italia semi-final first leg against Lazio, but despite the quick turnaround, Milan's coach insisted he will not make changes to appease his back-up brigade.
"Being grumpy at not playing is part of the job," Gattuso said when asked about Milan's fringe players receiving limited game time.
"If I see someone who is constantly on the bench smiling and laughing, then that's no good either.
"What I am after is respect. Respect and consistency, as hard work during the week is the only way to earn your place. You need to ensure you are ready and impress when called upon."