AC Milan head coach Gennaro Gattuso said he does not mind if a player tells him to “go to hell” as he insisted the spat with Tiemoue Bakayoko is over.
The pair exchanged terse words on the touchline during the Rossoneri’s 2-1 win over Bologna on Monday, with Gattuso later claiming the Chelsea loanee had taken too long to get ready to come on as a substitute.
Bakayoko was restored to the starting line-up on Saturday, though, as Milan claimed a 1-0 win at Fiorentina that moved them back to within a point of Serie A’s top four.
Gattuso claimed he has no problem with strong words from his players, provided they perform well for the team.
“I put it all behind me the next day,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “I don’t mind if a player tells me to go to hell – the important thing is for him to show respect to his team-mates in the dressing room.
“I have to think about what is best for AC Milan. If the players need to swear at me for the good of the club, then I can deal with that.”
Milan’s victory at the Artemio Franchi was particularly important given Atalanta had beaten Genoa earlier to move into third place.
Gattuso is proud of his side’s position in the table after 36 matches, even though he is frustrated not to have a Champions League spot in their own hands.
“We’re a team with strengths and weaknesses,” he said. “We’ve wasted a lot of chances to stay in the top four. We need to mature, and we have many young players who have lost confidence in key moments.
“If someone said to us at the start of the season that we would be level with Roma and four points above Lazio, nobody would have believed us. But we could have done even better. We dropped too many points.”
Gattuso also denied suggestions of a poor relationship with Fiorentina boss Vincenzo Montella, the man he replaced in the dugout at San Siro.
“I never had a problem with Vincenzo,” he added. “We never argued. I admire him a lot and he left me a team that has opened my mind.
“We were Italy team-mates, we said hello before kick-off. Everything’s fine.”