Bosz on Classic: 'Important, but not crucial'

Bosz on Classic: 'Important, but not crucial'

Ajax will visit Feyenoord on Sunday.  Coach Peter Bosz doesn’t consider the Classic to be a match of critical importance.  “It’s an important match, but not a crucial one.  We’re visiting the leader and we’re five points behind.  We certainly don’t want it to become eight”, said Bosz.  “But I would only say that a match is crucial when you’re coming to the end of the competition and you will either become the champion or not.  We’re definitely not at that point yet.”

The day following the Celta de Vigo – Ajax game was busy for Bosz.  At the time of the press conference, he had still not had a chance to have a debrief on the Feyenoord scouting report made by Tonny Bruins Slot.  But Bosz was still able to put together a relatively accurate picture of the club where we was active both as a player and technical director.

“I think they’re doing great.  Let’s be honest: if you’ve won nine times in a row in competition play, you’re doing incredibly well.  That’s often a mix of good football and sometimes a bit of good luck.  But everyone can use that.”

No warm welcome
Bosz isn’t counting on getting a warm welcome in de Kuip, which is familiar territory for him.  “The team will always be greeted the same way”, says Bosz.  “And I’m a part of this team, so I’ll be greeted in the same way.  Obviously I’ve been in de Kuip very often as a coach of the adversary, with Heracles and Vitesse, but being Ajax’s coach will be a bit more charged.  That’s fine, let the fans focus on me, then they’ll leave the team alone.”

“I don’t know what Feyenoord is planning or how they will dare to play, but generally speaking, Ajax’s games keep getting better.”

This will be the second competition match in a row in which Ajax supporters aren’t welcome.  Bosz, once again, expressed dismay at this.  “Let’s be honest.  We play football for the supporters.  Of course we play to win, but we mainly do it for the fans.  The atmosphere of a stadium with home and away supporters is the best there is.  When I was a player, that always motivated me a lot.”

Ajax will play to its own strength in De Kuip, as usual, said Bosz.  “You all know that I always focus on my own team for 95 per cent.  Our strength is in the football.  That’s going well.  We’re playing better and better. For Sunday, the question will be whether or not we actually get to really play football.”

Primera Division
Bosz was once again asked about the Celta match: “They’re a very strong opponent on paper, who earned sixth place last season in a tough competition, the Primera Division.  And we were able to give them a run for their money.  People can say: ‘Well, Celta was playing with four or five different players than usual.’ But those are still great players.”

Bosz also clarified that he swapped Hakim Ziyech out as a precaution.  “The field was extremely heavy.  All of the players felt that, especially on their backs.  We asked for the distances that Hakim ran on the right flank at FC Twente.  With us, he’s played a series of matches at midfield.  It’s interesting to see that he’s now running three kilometers more per match.  Take it from me, that’s an enormous distance.  Hakim is one of the guys that we need to be careful with.”

Liverpool - Manchester United
Bosz said that he was counting on a compelling Classic, but he wouldn’t make any bets on it.  “The last game that everyone was so excited about was Liverpool – Manchester United, and that turned out to be a dud of a match.  That’s why I’m a bit more cautious, but I think it will be a fun game.  I don’t know what Feyenoord are planning, or how they will dare to play, but generally speaking, Ajax games are getting better.  That’s due to the way we’re playing, whereby we are giving more room to move.”