Seedorf insists Milan ready for defining week

AC Milan coach Clarence Seedorf insists his men are ready for a challenging week which could define their season.

Riccardo Montolivo, Kaka and Mario Balotelli of AC

The Rossoneri take on Udinese at the Stadio Friuli on Saturday in need of a victory to close the gap on fifth-placed Inter Milan to three points.

On Tuesday Milan travel to the Estadio Vicente Calderon needing to overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit against Atletico Madrid in order to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Seedorf said: "The team has the right mentality.

"It's an important stage of the season and we want to give continuity to our recent performances.

"It's through good performances that you get good results and I want to see my players show the same determination and concentration against Udinese that they displayed against Sampdoria and against Juventus."

Seedorf does not believe his players will be distracted by their midweek game against Atletico when they take on Udinese.

"We have a lot of respect for Udinese," he said.

"We will only think about the game in Madrid after our match at Udine. My team has always been good at taking one game at a time."

After wins against Bologna and Sampdoria, Milan fell 2-0 at home to runaway leaders Juventus last weekend. The outcome dropped Milan to 10th.

Milan have won just three league games on the road this season but will be bolstered by the return of the team's top scorer Mario Balotelli. The Italy striker has missed Milan's last two games with a shoulder injury.

"He still has some pain but it's normal," Seedorf said.

"He will have to deal with the shoulder pain for a while. But he will be available to play against Udinese."

Rivals Udinese fell 3-0 at Cagliari in their last game to see a four-match unbeaten run come to an end.

The outcome in Sardinia dropped them to 15th place, seven points clear of danger.

"We just have to focus on defending our Serie A status as soon as possible," Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin said.

"We have a very difficult game on Saturday and we must prepare for it in the best possible way."

The hosts will be without suspended defender Danilo.


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