Seedorf seeks to lift Milan

AC Milan coach Clarence Seedorf faces a major challenge to lift the spirits of his struggling team.

Last Updated: 12/03/14 at 11:32 Post Comment

Seedorf: Milan fitness must improve

Seedorf: Milan fitness must improve

Free £50 bet

Daily Offers and Promotions, sign up for a free £50 matched bet

AC Milan coach Clarence Seedorf faces a major challenge to lift the spirits of his struggling team following Tuesday's demolition in Madrid.

The Italians were knocked out of the Champions League in the last 16 after losing 4-1 against Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon, having previously been defeated 1-0 in the first leg at the San Siro last month.

The seven-time European champions had gone into the encounter in Spain looking to spark their season into life, but were not up to the task on the night as Diego Costa's brace, plus further goals from Raul Garcia and Arda Turan sealed a comfortable victory for Atletico, with Kaka's first-half strike merely a consolation for Milan.

"After Atletico's second goal my team struggled psychologically and failed to react, as we often do," Seedorf said to Gazzetta dello Sport. "The second goal switched off the light and took away all the energy from my team.

"We had played well in the first leg and we started this game well only we could not be consistent for the whole game.

"In the second half, the whole team no longer produced the right level of grit and determination to keep fighting.

"We sat back too much and in general it was not a positive performance.

"We are disappointed as the Champions League was an important aim for us and economically for the club.

"I've said more than once that the fitness levels I found here were not optimal.

"It's normal to struggle when you have are behind in fitness since the start of the season."

Milan have endured a dismal campaign and sacked coach Massimiliano Allegri back in January and appointed former player Seedorf as his replacement .

The Dutchman, who had no prior coaching experience, retired from football to accept the Milan job and does not regret his decision.

"I am absolutely convinced I made the right choice," he said. "I wore these colours for 10 years, the club president (Silvio Berlusconi) gave me so much and Milan are trying to rebuild what has been lost.

"This challenge pleased me and it was not ideal to take over midway through the season, but we are preparing for the future and trying to end the season as best we can."

Milan are 10th in the standings, 20 points behind third-place Napoli, who hold the last Champions League qualifying spot.

They trail city rivals Inter, who hold the last Europa League qualifying spot, by nine points.

"There are 11 games to go in the (Serie A) season and we have some very specific aims, which we believe we can get," Seedorf said. "The squad must feel a realistic sense of what it can achieve.

"We can't throw away the good work we have done."


New Sky Bet customers: Free matched bet up to £30


Free £50 bet

Daily Offers and Promotions, sign up for a free £50 matched bet

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

e made his power play to try and get Sheikhy to raise his wages or trade him to PSG. PSG were probably not interested and he is stuck with no cake and no vacation. @Jay_D> Surely you jest about FFP being real, right? All Platini is doing is making billionaries pay measly fines, so he and his cronies can get rich. If a fool can pay 50 mil for David Luiz, he will happily pay some fine to UEFA. FFP has failed as for it to succeed UEFA had to take it...

Synergy
Toure: I am staying with City

G

uess we can expect Toure's explanation of his behaviour around the same time Pete Townshend publishes his book then.

ceeps
Toure: I am staying with City

D

amn you Yaya, don't scare me like that! I only ate the icing. I didn't eat the soft and scrumptious middle - I will buy you another cake!

MCFC87
Toure: I am staying with City

Footer 365

Premier League: Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech doesn't want to be on the bench

Petr Cech has warned Jose Mourinho he does not want to be second-choice goalkeeper at Chelsea next season.

Transfer News: Sunderland striker Danny Graham expected to move on

Gus Poyet has confirmed that it is going to be 'very difficult' for Danny Graham to be part of his Sunderland squad.

Premier League: Ryan Giggs compares Louis van Gaal to Sir Alex Ferguson

Ryan Giggs has hailed Louis van Gaal's early impact and has acknowledged the similarities with Sir Alex Ferguson.

Mail Box

It Isn't Easy Supporting Spurs, You Know

We have a long mail about the travails of supporting Spurs, plus Friday thoughts on Marko Marin, marketing, victory v beauty, travelling and vanishing sprays...

Pre-Season Obviously Isn't Meaningless

The debate over the importance of pre-season continues, including a league table from last season for stats fans. Plus travelling to watch your team and Blackpool...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property