Clarence Seedorf hinted Max Allegri’s era damaged Milan, so they “struggle psychologically to react” against Atletico Madrid.
“You could see after the second goal that the team struggled psychologically to react, as they often do. The second goal turned off the light and sapped the energy from the team,” Seedorf told Sky Sport Italia.
“We analysed the situation together. Obviously the Champions League was an important objective for us and economically for the club. We had played well in the first leg and showed in the first half tonight we could play on a par with Atletico, but couldn’t be consistent for the whole game.
“We spoke clearly and set objectives in the League, which is our only remaining target. There are 11 games to go and we have some very specific objectives, which are the ones we believe we can get. It’s our only tournament, so the squad must feel a realistic sense of what we can achieve.
“We can’t throw away the good work we’ve done. Of course it is very sad to go out of the Champions League and the players are very disappointed, but I am here to lift them up, let them know they can keep working the way they have done and face Parma with the spirit of a side that wants to make up for this setback.”
Seedorf was asked about the Rossoneri’s stamina and again pointed to Allegri’s tenure before he took over in January.
“We’ve said more than once that the fitness levels I found here weren’t optimal, but that’s normal to struggle when you have been chasing since the start of the season.
“This moment of difficulty lasted so long that it affected the team. They can react once, but after a second blow they can’t get back on their feet.
“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 positive.”
Despite the setbacks, Seedorf insisted he did not regret ending his playing career in Brazil early to take this job.
“I am absolutely convinced I made the right choice. I wore these colours for 10 years, the President gave me so much and the club is trying to rebuild what has been lost.
“This request pleased me and it was not ideal to take over midway through, but we are preparing for the future and trying to end the season as best we can.”
See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with Eurotips.co.uk