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Benitez praises Seedorf ahead of Milan clash

Napoli boss Rafael Benitez believes the appointment of Clarence Seedorf as Milan coach will have a positive impact on Serie A.

Benitez’s side welcome Milan to the Stadio San Paolo on Saturday as they look to avoid a third defeat in a week following a 3-0 league loss to Atalanta and a 3-2 Coppa Italia reverse against Roma.

Napoli are third in Serie A going into the weekend, but know that another disappointing result could allow Fiorentina to leapfrog them into the final UEFA Champions League spot.

Milan have lost just one of their last four games since Seedorf took over last month and Benitez feels the Dutchman’s presence will be beneficial to the Italian game.

“As I see it, Seedorf and I are coaches who handle the concept of a more proactive game,” he said.

“This is something I consider very positive for Serie A and Italian football image in the international arena.”

Benitez is expecting his side to be tested by Milan and has called on his defence to improve significantly after shipping six goals in their last two outings.

“Milan are a squad that has strength and quality,” he added. “We know that we will face a strong opponent and we have to do our best if we hope to get the positive result that we seek.

“We want to resume the fight for the pole positions in the best possible way.

“I do not like having 10 players to attack, I am a coach who is fundamental and mostly it’s that I have a balance.

“The squad of Napoli has high quality up front – that’s true and I think that they are strong and active in our favour but it is clear that we have to defend better, and we work every day in every practice to get that balance.”

Fri 7 February, 2014
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