Seedorf backs Flamini to cope
Clarence Seedorf has defended Matthieu Flamini as he prepares for a hostile reception at Tottenham.
By Ben Collins
Last Updated: 09/03/11 1:37pm
Clarence Seedorf has defended AC Milan team-mate Matthieu Flamini as they prepare to visit Tottenham for a crucial Champions League clash.
Spurs claimed a memorable 1-0 win in a heated first leg at the San Siro three weeks ago, which saw Milan captain Gennaro Gattuso head-butt Tottenham's assistant boss Joe Jordan.
Gattuso received a four-match ban but team-mate Flamini got just a booking for the reckless challenge that put Spurs full-back Vedran Corluka out of the game.
Although Flamini got the ball, it was a two-footed lunge, and he angered the Tottenham players by spurring on the home crowd while Corluka lay injured.
Spurs boss Harry Redknapp slammed the French midfielder, saying Corluka could have suffered a broken leg rather than just an ankle sprain.
The former Arsenal man is sure to receive a hostile reception at White Hart Lane but Seedorf is confident the 27-year-old can cope with the pressure.
And the Dutch veteran reckons the tackle is something he learnt during his four-year stint in England.
"I've seen a lot of challenges in the Premier League and there are a lot of challenges here like that," he said. "He brought it to Italy, simple.
"He will be okay. He will approach tomorrow like he approaches all the games. He is ex-Arsenal too and we know the rivalry between the teams."
Gattuso's suspension has left Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri short of midfield options as he was already without Italy duo Andrea Pirlo and Massimo Ambrosini.
But Seedorf, who could be handed the captain's armband, is confident the Rossoneri have enough cover and can reach the last eight.
"We know how important Gattuso is, but there are a lot of players not there for us," he said.
"We already have a nice list of players not here, like Pirlo and Ambrosini. Without them we have had great results. Those coming in must perform well and that is what we must do."
One of those could be Kevin Prince-Boateng, who will have a point to prove after failing to establish himself at White Hart Lane after joining Spurs from Hertha Berlin in 2007.
The 24-year-old left in 2009 for Portsmouth where he kick-started his career, going on to shine at last summer's World Cup with Ghana and earn a move to Milan.
"Kevin is a great, great player," said Seedorf. "He's a great talent who gives a lot of energy to the team and he will be a key player for us for the rest of the season and hopefully for a lot of years to come.
"He brings a lot of added value, and with his past he will be highly motivated."