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The Dutchman claims the enigmatic striker needs to get used to the ups and downs of football and praised debutant Adel Taarabt for his goal

Clarence Seedorf has asked Mario Balotelli to grow up after the striker's scenes during AC Milan 3-1 loss at Napoli on Saturday.

Balotelli was captured on camera crying in the dugout following his substitution in the second half just minutes after he missed an open goal.

But Seedorf maintained that it was all part of the 23-year-old's road to maturity and put himself at his star's disposal to help him progress.

"We are players and there are times when we express ourselves that way. I see nothing wrong or abnormal in that. I experienced it at times too," Seedorf admitted to reporters after the match.

"He too needs to grow in general. He played very well [two weeks ago] against Cagliari, while tonight perhaps he didn’t make the most of the space.

"These are things we can all improve on and I’m happy he has so many areas to improve, as I can help him through that education.”

January arrival Adel Taarabt gave the Rossoneri the lead even though Gokhan Inler and Gonzalo Higuain handed Napoli eventual victory, but Seedorf proved reasonably impressed with his side's display.

"Taarabt had a great debut. He showed a lot of quality, worked hard and scored a great goal. He presented himself well," the coach continued.

"It was a step backwards in terms of the result, but I also saw many positive things. Unfortunately we had prepared it a certain way, then Kaka and Keisuke Honda got ill, so I had to make changes.

"As well as to get as many points as possible, my job is to help improve the players who I found in not great physical condition. That needs time.”

Seedorf's first loss as Milan boss in Serie A leaves the team in 10th spot.
 

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