Clarence Seedorf explained why he and Milan players met with ultras leaders after a 4-2 defeat to Parma, assuring he is “not arrogant.”
This was the fourth consecutive defeat between Serie A and Champions League, conceding eight goals in the last two.
There were protests before and during the game, while a group of players including Ricky Kaka, Mario Balotelli and the Coach went out to meet four ultras leaders after the match. Only after this encounter did Seedorf speak to the media.
“These are delicate situations with people who have this club in their heart, both on and off the field,” he told Sky Sport Italia.
“The meeting was very peaceful, they expressed their sentiments, but nothing in particular happened. They all want what is best for Milan, so after two years of suffering they felt the need to express their emotions.
“I have experienced this before, yes, at Botafogo a less calm one! We were fourth in the table and fighting to get into the Libertadores, so there was a feeling of worry.
“I was there briefly and there were also some positive things said, as everyone has great respect for the jersey. Sometimes it helps just to listen and give the fans a voice, so they know we hear them.
“After Atletico Madrid and Juventus, the fans applauded, as they appreciated the performance and the hard work. It’s not for me to explain their reasons.”
Milan had fought back from 2-0 down for 2-2, but capitulated late on 4-2 to Parma with Christian Abbiati sent off after five minutes.
“The players gave all they had today, trying to get back a game that started in the worst possible way.
“It was a strange game and obviously the red card after five minutes changed everything. The lads did well to fight back to 2-2, but their determination to get the victory ended up leaving the team unbalanced and we suffered this defeat.
“We never gave up. At half-time I told the players to believe, as even with 10 men we’ve seen before that teams can improve and get important results. They did well to get back on the field with that reaction and on 2-2 we perhaps should’ve read the situation better to avoid the counter-attack.”
Riccardo Montolivo started in a new trequartista role alongside Kaka and Andrea Poli behind Balotelli.
“It’s a shame, he got a knock and is in hospital for tests. I cannot judge his performance in that role, as I had to change everything after six minutes! He was in the best shape over the last few days and had recovered better after Madrid, so it’s a real shame we didn’t have time to play this way properly.”
Seedorf again hinted that Massimiliano Allegri’s tenure was behind the current problems, something he already said after the defeats to Juventus and Atletico Madrid.
“I will defend these colours right to the end. All problems that have come before and the journey to get us to this point is the past, so we must look forward and find a way to fix the problems. There’s no point finding a scapegoat.
“It requires more focus and concentration, as we pay a heavy price for every mistake and that’s what happens when a team is in a negative spiral.
“I continue to believe we will change the situation, get the best out of the players for the rest of the season and form a competitive side for next year.”
Considering the references to Allegri, Seedorf was asked whether he ought to be more humble and self-critical.
“I think my humility is in the hard work I do every day. I don’t see that I’ve done or said anything arrogant. In my view I’m pretty objective.
“I know that I have much to learn and have just started my coaching career, but I’ve also worked in this world for over 20 years and I know what the players are going through.
“I accept everyone’s opinions, as long as they are constructive. We admitted Atletico Madrid were stronger, so how was that not humble?”