Gattuso gets Milan to dream again

Gennaro Gattuso has sparked a fire in AC Milan.

Unbeaten in 12 games with five wins in a row, the Italian coach has transformed the demoralised squad he took over three months ago from Vincenzo Montella.

Their 2-0 win over AS Roma at the Stadio Olimpico yesterday morning (Singapore time) was an important one - against direct European rivals - which allows Milan to dream of Champions League qualification.

Gattuso's side are just seven points adrift of the last spot for the elite European competition. When he took over, fourth place was 11 points away.

But what is the secret that has got the seven-time European champions winning consistently again?

For the players, the answer is simple - hard work.

"Gattuso is making us work harder, especially on tactics," explained Ivorian midfielder Franck Kessie, 21.

"With Montella, we did very little work in training, but it's different with Gattuso and you can see the results on the pitch."

Left-back Davide Calabria, who scored the second goal against Roma, said: "The winning mentality that Gattuso brings is incredible. He focuses on every detail.

"We are working with great intensity."

Milan will play Lazio in the Italian Cup semi-final at the Stadio Olympico on Thursday morning (Singapore time). - AFP