Atletico clash won't distract Seedorf's Milan

AC Milan coach Clarence Seedorf insists his players will not be distracted by next week's game against Atletico Madrid when they host Bologna on Friday.

Keisuke Honda of AC Milan #10 celebrates scoring t

The Rossoneri are looking to bounce back from last weekend's 3-1 defeat at Napoli, their first league loss under Seedorf.

Milan welcome Atletico to the San Siro next Tuesday in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie.

"We haven't thought about our Champions League game at all," Seedorf said in Thursday's press conference. "We are taking one game at a time.

"Each match helps us improve and that of Bologna will hopefully allow us to arrive in good condition to our game against Atletico."

The Rossoneri will have to show a vast improvement with respect to last weekend's performance in Naples.

The outcome dropped Milan to 11th place, seven points behind Inter Milan, who are fifth and hold the last Europa League qualifying spot.

"I don't see my team demotivated," Seedorf said. "Of course we were disappointed with our performance against Napoli.

"They were better than us and we have to accept it.

"But the will is there from my players to step up and continue to improve.

"We have to improve mentally and physically."

Milan lost midfielder Urby Emanuelson and striker Robinho to injuries in last weekend's game but will be bolstered by the return of midfielders Kaka and Keisuke Honda to the starting XI.

Mario Balotelli will play in attack despite the Italian forward having found the net just once in Milan's last three league games.

"Mario has talent and we hope he can shine in order to become the champion that we all expect him to be," Seedorf said.

"I am confident that sooner or later we will see him play at a high level."

Rivals Bologna held AC Milan to a 3-3 result earlier this season and make the journey to the San Siro invigorated by last weekend's 2-1 triumph at Torino.

The win in Turin was Bologna's first in 2014 and lifted the Rossoblu to 16th place, four points clear of the drop zone.

The visitors will be bolstered by the return of midfielder Panagiotis Kone and striker Davide Moscardelli from suspension.

Moreover, Jonathan Cristaldo has shaken off a knock sustained at the weekend and will lead Bologna's attack.



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