Sunday March 23 2014
Seedorf: 'I preferred Pazzini'

Clarence Seedorf insisted Milan’s 1-1 draw at Lazio was “a positive step forward” and explained why he dropped Mario Balotelli.

“They showed that they are a compact group who want to go forward. They helped each other out throughout the game and it’s a shame we didn’t get all three points, but it was a balanced game,” the Coach told Sky Sport Italia.

Giampaolo Pazzini started the match rather than Balotelli, who did come on during the second half.

“I thought Pazzini could give us something more for this game due to his characteristics. I simply chose the side I thought could hurt the opponents more.

“I firmly believed we could surprise Lazio and I put on another striker, but unfortunately the equaliser came and the result remained like that.

“Adriano Galliani said he’d be happy if we played badly and brought home three points. So we know that if we keep that going then at least he’ll smile!

“We always try to give our best in terms of performance and style, but at this moment in time it is more important to be solid, effective and allow few scoring opportunities to our opponents. If we do that, then we can build game by game.”

The last few days have been filled with media speculation of crisis talks with Galliani and a supposed two-game deadline for Seedorf to turn the situation around or face the sack.

“There was never a separation within the club, as we were always in contact and I asked him to stay close to the squad because his experience is fundamental to calm the environment. That was the case even when I was a player.

“I was glad to see this reaction and character from the squad and club. In my Press conference I also pointed out that I never received any of the indications from the President or CEO that I had a deadline or any of the other things written this week. I remain with the indications I received when I signed the contract.

“I am enjoying the experience, when it comes to the daily work, training and being with the players. I am growing every day.

“I have tried to teach courage, bring back some joy to the players and give them belief, which is perhaps more invisible than tactical changes. It is a crisis when a Coach is fired, so I had to get the group back on track and in that sense I am satisfied with how we have progressed.

“The players are working very hard in training to improve and emerge from this situation. Tonight the result was another positive step forward.”

See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with