AC Milan boss Clarence Seedorf has admitted that he finds the fact that he is now being compared to Carlo Ancelotti as "a bit embarrassing".
The Dutchman only called time on his playing career in January in order to succeed the sacked Massimiliano Allegri as Rossoneri coach and, after a disastrous start to his second spell at San Siro, there was mounting speculation that he would be fired just two months into the job.
However, after a run of five successive Serie A victories, Seedorf is now being compared to Milan legend Ancelotti by some sections of the Italian press - a development that the former Netherlands international finds ridiculous.
"The comparisons with Ancelotti are a bit embarrassing for me," he told reporters on Thursday. "I’ve just started and he’s been around for a long time and won everything."
Seedorf was even reluctant to take any credit for the Rossoneri's resurgence in recent weeks.
“Credit for the last five wins goes to the players who have shown the desire necessary to get out of a negative period," the former midfield ace insisted. "We want to improve even more before the end of the season. I think we have to continue with what we’ve done in the last five matches."
However, standing between Milan and a sixth consecutive win is Rudi Garcia's Roma, which currently sits second and have not yet given up hope of overturning their eight-point deficit to leaders Juventus.
“We’re heading to Rome knowing that we’re in good form," Seedorf stated. "But I have a lot of respect for the Garcia and the team.
"He’s in his first year in Serie A and he’s looking to impose his game and his ideas. I don’t know if we’d be able to stop their individual players as that would be very complicated given their quality.
"We’ll just have to play well as a team and try to play our game."
There was initial speculation that striker Stephan El Shaarawy could make his long-awaited comeback in the game at the Stadio Olimpico, but Seedorf is reluctant to jeopardise the forward's fitness by rushing his return.
“El Shaarawy hasn’t played for seven months and we have to make sure he’s in the best shape to come back," the four-time Champions League winner explained. "I think he’ll be ready very soon. We want to get him back playing 70 minutes with the Primavera side but we don’t want to take any risks for a player so important to Milan and the national side."
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