Coach Clarence Seedorf brushed off calls for Giampaolo Pazzini to start the Milan Derby. “I choose the team.”
The clash with Inter kicks off on Sunday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT), click here for a match preview.
“Inter play in a very clear way. Walter Mazzarri did well at Napoli and cannot be doubted, while it’s the Milan Derby so there can be no concerns over motivation,” said Seedorf in his Press conference.
“I would like to see Milan solid and courageous, both going forward and defending. We lost to Roma, but that defeat gave us more confidence because we played so well against a great team.”
He was asked about reports CEO Adriano Galliani is pushing for Giampaolo Pazzini to start alongside Mario Balotelli in a new system.
“Galliani told me that I have the autonomy to decide who steps on to the field. I choose the team, we are fully in sync. Have I received confirmation about next season? I don’t need confirmation, as I already have a contract. I don’t communicate with the club via the media.”
The Rossoneri are in a five-way fight for one remaining Europa League spot, as Verona, Torino and Lazio have 52 points with Milan and Parma on 51.
“We will try to get nine points from the remaining three rounds and already had a strong comeback to get up there. We hope that nine points will be enough. Everyone has understood the club’s objectives and are rowing in the same direction. There is unity in our targets.
“I am very happy that the players feel the pride of being at Milan. This group has been able to turn around a negative situation.
“The season is almost over and we want to end it in a dignified fashion. The players see this match as symbolic and the idea is to send a signal to the fans.”
Seedorf was a player at both Inter and Milan, but this will be his first Derby as a Coach.
“I remain the same person, just in a different role. I can stay calmer now and act on other things too, which I could not before. I am able to balance things out and give the right weight to each element.
“I enjoyed my first days at the training camp, less so those spent with you journalists. Certainly the most wonderful thing is that that the team continues to fight for its objectives.
“I am not irritated by criticism, as that is normal when exposed to the public. What does irritate me is the lack of objectivity. The players worked to turn the situation around and they are the ones who motivate me.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £11,000 to be won monthly!