Marco Giampaolo thanked Milan for their “response in terms of character” to overturn Genoa 2-1, while Jack Bonaventura “brought balance.”
It was a do-or-die match for Giampaolo and he went to Plan B after going a goal down, introducing Rafael Leao and Lucas Paqueta, who completely changed the game in an eventual 2-1 win at Marassi.
“I liked Paqueta, he came on well, as did Leao, but I won’t condemn those who they replaced,” the Coach told DAZN.
“I told the lads to keep their cool and turn it around. It’s not wise to bleed in the presence of sharks. These forwards have different characteristics, but I know that Milan need all of those elements. I won’t throw anyone out the window. My objective is to keep everyone involved.”
He hauled off Krzysztof Piatek and Hakan Calhanoglu, but Davide Calabria was sent off for the second time this season and Pepe Reina saved a stoppage-time Lasse Schone penalty.
“I am quite cool-headed during a game, fortunately. I had doubts it was a penalty, but Reina has so much character that I had faith he would save it.
“It was a difficult match, we went underwater and were under a lot of pressure, so I praise the lads for not letting go. I didn’t even care if they misplaced a pass or a goal, the important thing was to give a response in terms of character.
“I want us to continue with this character, but obviously hope to get a sharper and higher quality style of football in future.
“I want to see this team play better football, but it wasn’t possible today because they felt the pressure so much and needed the victory so badly. We had to scrape the last bit of determination and character. I couldn’t ask them for beautiful football today, as we had other objectives.”
Giampaolo surprised everyone by picking Giacomo Bonaventura for his first start since October 25, 2018.
“We needed experience, character and the ability to deal with the situation. I really liked Bonaventura, as he also has great timing with his passes, a delicate touch.
“Above all, he brought balance, because I struggle to play with three pure strikers. He gave us some balance there, as he can track back, but also play with quality going forward.”
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