Marco Giampaolo needed more time to have a genuine chance of implementing his plans for AC Milan, according to assistant coach Daniele Bonera.
Milan sacked Giampaolo following a 2-1 win over Genoa in October, his seventh match in charge.
The former Sampdoria boss presided over three victories and four defeats before the Rossoneri rushed to appoint Stefano Pioli – a move that, so far, has failed to lead to an upturn in the team's fortunes.
Pioli has led the team to four points from five games since his arrival, with their solitary triumph coming at home to lowly SPAL.
"In a few months, two coaches arrived with different working methods, two ways of thinking on a defensive level," Bonera, an assistant under both coaches, told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"With Giampaolo, we thought more about the ball. With Pioli, we are more practical and we work on the positioning of players.
"Giampaolo did not have the time he needed, but at a club like Milan there is never much time."
Asked about the players, Bonera said: "I see guys who are very committed. Many are really young, in their twenties. It takes time.
"We need patience, which is a rare commodity in football. We are trying to do better every day. I've never seen any of the players holding back because of fatigue."
Milan's problems could grow further if Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain launch a January bid to sign goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, as has been rumoured in recent days.
Bonera, who made over 150 Serie A appearances for Milan during his nine-year spell with the club as a player, recommends the 20-year-old Donnarumma remains with his boyhood club.
"As a fan and someone in love with Milan, I would recommend he stay with us," Bonera said.
"But he has staff and family who advise him."