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AC Milan boss Seedorf defends underfire Balotelli

AC Milan coach Clarence Seedorf has jumped to the defence of Mario Balotelli.

The 4-1 defeat to Atletico Madrid on Tuesday was widely considered to be one of Balotelli's worst performances.

Seedorf said: "As a preventative measure due to a slight muscular problem, he stayed behind to work in the gym, but it's nothing serious. It's only natural for people to now seek scapegoats, but we will remain united and focused. If we had beaten Juventus and Atletico at home, then things would've changed.

"Do I use the carrot or the stick? I only use the carrot. When there's the need to check on a situation, I do it, but my philosophy is to face everything with a smile. Will I punish him? I want a rapport between adults, not between an adult and a child. Will Giampaolo Pazzini start tomorrow? No."

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