AC Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso has stated he has no intention of quitting, after calls from the club's fans for his head to roll less than a month after being appointed, insisting he is the least of his side's problems.
The 39-year-old former Rossoneri defensive midfielder replaced the sacked Vincenzo Montella late last month in a rather surprising appointment, however has only managed one league win during his four outings, coming via a 2-1 win over Bologna.
I support AC Milan because sometimes I have a good week and need something to knock me back down.— Anthony ㊗️⚫️ (@Torgrude45) December 23, 2017
The former Scudetto chasers are well and truly out of the title picture now, finding themselves in 11th place at the halfway mark, however are also in real danger of being cut adrift from a European spot should their fortunes not change in the near future.
But despite fan protests surrounding the extremely short, but so far unsuccessful tenure of Gattuso, he insists resignation is not an option at this stage.
"Many things didn't work, though at the start we had the right approach", the Italian told a post-match press conference following Milan's 2-0 defeat to Atalanta on Saturday, as quoted by Football Italia.
"Once we went behind, it turned into an uphill struggle.
"It's a complicated situation, the fans are protesting and we can't think of continuing the season like this. But I don't see people holding back or not trying to give their best. I see people who give their all, but evidently we are fragile.
"Today I am the Milan coach, but I am the least of our problems. It's not just about fitness levels, but here is also the psychological component. When what we are doing is not enough, we must become a team and to do that we need to make fewer mistakes.
"If I thought that I was the problem, then I would resign immediately. If I thought the players weren't behind me, I'd resign. But that's not it."
It seems, however, that Gattuso, or Rino as he is also known, is not the only person with this mindset, with sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli shielding the San Siro manager by claiming he is responsible for AC's current downturn in form.
Rossoneri brought in 11 players over the summer during a spending spree which saw them outlay over £175m, but the results have not been forthcoming on the pitch, something which the club's hierarchy sitter takes the blame for.
"Rino is a great man, a great coach", Mirabelli told Sky Sport Italia, as quoted by Football Italia.
"We knew that we were facing a lot of problems and he lives Milan to the full, caring so much about this side.
Same old story from @acmilan. This is a very bad team that can't play as a unit, fire shots on target, or defend well. I could at least respect a team that fights. This one stays stagnant. Milan is not only playing poorly, it's failed to learn from its mistakes. It's beyond help.— Anthony Lopopolo (@sportscaddy) December 23, 2017
"During these difficult times, it's important to be men, stick together and work to get the ship back into the harbour safely. We must shoulder every imaginable criticism.
"I am protective of the squad because I am responsible for new buys, contract renewals and confirmations. The biggest responsibility I feel is mine and therefore criticism must be aimed at me."