Vincenzo Montella, the AC Milan coach, has said that he has no intention of making a scapegoat out of former fitness coach Emanuele Marra, but that he had to take action following the team’s 2-0 defeat to Sampdoria that left his own job at risk.

Montella sacked Marra in the middle of last week. On Twitter the coach said that it was due to a difference of opinion over training methods.

Asked at a news conference why he had resorted to sacking the fitness coach he stressed that it was not because Marra was the cause of all the team’s problems.

“I can’t say any more, but he’s not the scapegoat,” Montella said. “I’ve taken risks for him and with him, but there was no longer the same vision and the right energy to give something to the team. I feel I know plenty about methodology and we were not using winning ones and you need to change something when you want to get back to being competitive. We need to turn the page. It was a difficult decision.”

He went on to “point out that Marra was not the problem” and said that it is normal to have difference of opinions. He described him as “a brother” and wished him all the best for the future.

The team captain, Leonardo Bonucci, said that he must also take some responsibility for the club’s second defeat of the season.

“I’m not happy with myself and I’ve committed several mistakes,” he said. “I want to respond on the field to all that has been said. I’ve always taken criticism as a motivation to improve. I’ve done that since I arrived at Milan and I’ll continue to do that.”