Vincenzo Montella called on Fiorentina fans to stop their protest after a defeat to Milan, because “otherwise we’re masochists.”

The Viola suffered a fifth consecutive defeat, have scored one goal in their last six Serie A games and are without a win in 12 rounds.

“We don’t have the mental strength to play for 90 minutes, especially with the tense situation in the city. At the first sign of difficulty, we melt away and lose all the elements we need to play football.

“This team was frightened, it was as if we were waiting for the opponents to score a goal. We lost confidence,” the Coach told DAZN and Sky Sport Italia.

There was tension at the Stadio Franchi and in the city, as Fiorentina ultras continued their strike, leaving the stands empty during the first half or sitting in silence.

“The second half was far better, I saw courage, determination, focus and I think it’s no coincidence that the improvement came after the fans went back into the stands.

“I want union between the team and fans, especially with the affection needed. Otherwise we’ll all be masochists and it won’t be good for Fiorentina or Florence.

“These players are all far more talented than what they’re showing so far. All of them. I thought today a draw would’ve been the right result, but we need a final push this season.”

Montella faced Gennaro Gattuso for the first time as a Coach, although the former Milan boss and the man who replaced him had exchanged some accusations via the newspapers.

“It was special to see these lads again, as I worked with practically all of them. It’s a pity how that experience ended and I would’ve liked to trip them up today, not to hurt Milan, but because Fiorentina needed it.

“It was nice to see Gattuso again, we’ve been great friends. Over the last few months, we gave the media plenty of material to stir up gossip and fill their columns, but we’re still friends.”

Gattuso had suggested Milan’s fitness levels were poor due to Montella’s training methods.

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