AC Milan coach Clarence Seedorf says his side's meeting with Genoa on Monday is their "most difficult" remaining fixture this season.
The Rossoneri currently lie 11th in Serie A, eight points behind the last Europa League spot, with seven games left to play this season and they are only three points ahead of Genoa heading into Monday's game.
And Seedorf feels that, while his team are getting better under his leadership, the match in Stadio Luigi Ferraris is the toughest they face between now and the season's end.
"This is the most difficult game of the next seven and that’s how we tried to prepare for this match," the Dutchman told reporters.
"The pressure is always the same, but with daily work and concentration we have been focused, especially with no midweek commitments.
"Genoa are the same side that made life extremely difficult for Juventus, so we’re expecting that performance and not the one that saw them lose to Verona last week. This is a very important tie.
"There are many teams fighting for places in Europe and we are not racing against anyone in particular. We just have to pick up as many points as possible and take it one game at a time.”
"The system hasn’t changed much since I arrived. Time has passed and the players got to know each other better. I am happy that now we are creating more chances, scoring more goals and starting to see a solid team.
"The team is improving and trying to push harder. Milan are not accustomed to being in these positions, but seeing the situation there is an improvement."
Riccardo Montolivo and Bryan Cristante are fit to face the Grifone and Seedorf said he is ready to bring them back into action this week, before he addressed concerns over Kaka's future.
"Montolivo will start with Nigel de Jong. Andrea Poli is an important player and it is possible Cristante will feature, but not from the start.
"[Kaka] knows what the fans, the club and I think. We have great respect for him and await his word at the end of the season. Right now he wants to focus on the remaining seven games and then we’ll see."
January signing Keisuke Honda has recently said he feels frustrated at not playing through the centre since joining the club, as he has been pushed out onto the wing, but Seedorf maintains the Japan international is improving on the flank.
"He is doing well in that position and it was just a matter of time. He’s bringing balance in the two phases, attack and defence, provided a good assist for Kaka and I think he can do better and better there.
"Honda starts from the right, but then the quality players have a way of finding each other on the field. There has to be a starting position for when the team is defending."