Bosz hopeful and enthusiastic about upcoming Ajax debut

Bosz hopeful and enthusiastic about upcoming Ajax debut

Peter Bosz can’t wait to make his debut as Ajax’s coach.  “It’s finally starting, it feels fantastic”, he said at the press conference on the eve of the home game against PAOK.  “It’s fun to train with the players, but in the end, what matters are the games.  It’s great to start at home.  I can’t wait.”

Bosz will not have several key players available during the match against the Greek team.  Nemanja Gudelj has been suspended, Riechedly Bazoer hasn’t yet recovered from his thigh injury, and Arek Milik has just recently returned to the team after the European Championships.  Since Milik has only participated in two trainings, he will be absent from the selection against PAOK.

“Every player needs a break after such a big tournament”, explained Bosz.  “I made it to a final round once myself, and started training again after two weeks.  After that, I suffered little injuries until the winter break.  After such a long season, Arek needed three weeks of holiday.  We’ll reap the benefits of that later in the season.”

Next round

A reporter called this match the most important one of the season, but Bosz refused to refer to this match against PAOK that way.  “I hope it won’t be the most important match, that will come later on this season.  Our goal, of course, is to make it to the next round.”

Bosz feels that Ajax’s technical staff is well briefed on opponent PAOK.  “We watched them play against Twente, and more recently, against Limassol.  We looked at the way they play as a team as well as the individual players.  I don’t think they hold any surprises for us.  We talked to the team and prepared them for PAOK, but not too much.  We need to do this ourselves.”

Davy Klaassen joined the press conference as well.  The captain was clear about his intentions.  “We want to play compelling football and make it to the next round.  We’re going to do everything we can tomorrow.” According to Klaassen, Ajax is ready for battle, despite the new coach and a rough start in pre-season.  “Of course we need to adjust, but in the end, all of the coaches at Ajax want to play the same kind of football.  This coach is doing many things in the same way, but he also has some different rules.  The biggest change is applying pressure.  Last week, against Olympique Marseille, that went pretty well.  We can gain confidence from that.  We need to increase that.”

Caution

Bosz is known as being a coach who is focussed on attacking.  But he won’t say he’s reckless.  “We’re always building in a measure of caution in the way we play.  We do that by not going back when we lose possession, but by applying pressure immediately.  I think that you need to do the things that you’re good at and trained for, and not whatever the score demands at that particular moment.”

Bosz recognizes that it’s still a puzzle in some areas.  “We’re still looking for the balance.  In general, the midfielder ensures that.  Now, we’re a bit limited in that area due to Neno (Gudelj’s) suspension and Bazoer’s injury.  We will miss two players who can do that.  We’re going to look at how we’re going to set that up with the players who we do have at our disposal.”

No fear

In any case, there is a lot of confidence that the game will end well.  “I have no fear”, said Bosz, who was also asked what would make him happy on Tuesday night.  Nothing, said the coach, but he went back on his words a bit later.  “You’re never going to play the perfect match.  There will always be things that could have gone better.  I’ll be satisfied if we win tomorrow, preferably with a very good result.  But regardless, the outcome will be decided in Greece.”