Ajax worked through its post-cup match loss disappointment with a long training at the Toekomst on Friday. A few days after the 0-4 loss to Vitese, coach Frank de Boer looked ahead to the last match of 2014. On Sunday, the competition match in Woudestein awaits.
Looking back can be educational, but looking ahead was the priority this Friday at Ajax. On Sunday, the Amsterdam team needs to remain on the heels of leader PSV. In other words: in this quest to win another title, no more mistakes can be made. “You want to close the year feeling good”, said De Boer from the Toekomst. “We haven’t had a bad six months. But those six months can start to look different if we close poorly against Excelsior.”
In contrast, the Rotterdam team can look back on a successful cup week. On the same night when Ajax choked in the ArenA, Excelsior convincingly dismissed a struggling NAC. On their home stadium Woudestein’s artificial turf, the score was 6-0. “Excelsior is a tough opponent”, continues the Ajax trainer. “The small field they play on works to their advantage. They did well against NAC. We need to go for it. On Sunday, we’ll see how we managed to process the setback (of the cup match loss).”
Looking back is inevitable so soon after the defeat. The loss was a hard hit to the Amsterdam team. Very hard. Especially the way in which the game was lost left the Ajacieds dissatisfied. De Boer: “It was very disappointing. Nine or ten guys played below their level. This match was a good and expensive lesson. We can’t afford any mistakes if we’re going to stay on PSV’s heels. We now need to put pressure on PSV and our deficit cannot increase.”
Lasse Schöne watched the cup match against Vitesse from the bench. The Dane was spared partly out as a precaution. Schöne has been plagued with a groin injury. De Boer expects that the multi-functional Ajacied will be part of the group on Sunday. “We’re expecting him to be in Rotterdam on Sunday. On Friday Lasse did an adjusted training. On Saturday, he’ll train again, full-on.”
Watch the complete interview with Frank de Boer and the interview with Niklas Moisander on Ajax TV.