Sunday January 19 2014
Seedorf: 'Milan have courage'

Clarence Seedorf revealed his new post-match Milan tradition and said the club showed “courage” to hire him.

The Coach made his debut with the Rossoneri and spoke to Sky Sport Italia after a 1-0 victory over Verona.

“We formed a circle all together in the locker room and I said we’d do the same after every game, whether it’s a win or a defeat, so we can all look each other in the eye. We’re all responsible for every result.

“The victory is certainly dedicated to all the Milan fans. I am happy for the squad, as there is a lot of work to do and a win makes it all feel easier.”

It was decided by a late Mario Balotelli penalty, though Robinho had earlier hit the woodwork and they dominated possession.

“The first half was very good, whereas after the break fatigue set in. I liked the pressing as soon as we lost the ball and keeping the defence very high. We haven’t had much time to work over the last few days, but the players did very well to keep that pressing up and pin Verona into their own half for the first 45 minutes.

“This victory came at the end with a penalty, but I still believe it was deserved considering the performance over 90 minutes.”

Seedorf introduced the new 4-2-3-1 system with Keisuke Honda, Kaka and Robinho behind Balotelli.

“I am concentrated on what we want to develop next week, which will be the first real week to get training done and concentrate on all the aspects of building the football I’ve got in mind.

“Right now we want to focus on rediscovering the joy of playing football and training with the ball, so the players can connect with the ball.”

Balotelli scored the winning goal and dedicated it to his new Coach.

“I already knew Mario and am not remotely surprised by the good rapport we’ve built over the last few days. He’s a sweet guy, a great talent and will do very well for Milan and Italy. I hope to help him grow and he has already shown he’s willing to play a part in this project.”

Seedorf was still playing for Botafogo up until a few days ago, so what convinced Milan to prompt early retirement?

“Our rapport over 10 years helped the club understand a lot about me, as it was a long and intense time together on and off the field. The club hierarchy got an idea of who I am, what I’m like and my competence in the world of football.

“The way they did with Arrigo Sacchi and Fabio Capello in the past, the President and Adriano Galliani showed courage to make this decision. I felt ready for this position and received a wonderful letter from Louis Van Gaal who helped construct the management course for me, so I am learning fast.”

Milan will face Atletico Madrid in the Champions League Round of 16 next month and they have gone top of the Liga table.

“This is not the time to talk about that. We know Atletico Madrid are a great side who did amazing things this season, but we have time before considering those games.”

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