De Boer wants to close gap with PSV

De Boer wants to close gap with PSV

In the last month before the winter break, Frank de Boer wants to stay on leader PSV’s trail. “We definitely don’t want the gap to increase. The best would be to close the gap and then pass them. But that doesn’t depend only on us, it also depends on PSV.”

At the moment PSV is leading the rankings, followed by Ajax. De Boer talked about the challenge of a ‘tough month’. Ajax will play five competition matches until the winter break, as well as two Champions League matches and the cup match against Vitesse. “Fortunately, we have the entire group together again.”

It is hopeful, however, that Ajax’s playing shows progress. “I feel that there are improvements. Several players are coming into better form and there seems to be a click happening. That’s due to the fact that recently, we’ve been able to play in a fixed formation. That’s the best for a team, because it creates automatic reflexes and reliability. Now the challenge is to continue on this increasing line and not dominate only 1 or 2 matches, but the entire series.”

De Boer noticed, to his pleasure, that the traditional top three are once again dominating the Eredivisie. “That’s a good sign”, says Ajax’s coach on Friday at the press conference. “It’s always been that way. It’s good for the competition is everyone can defeat each other and lose to each other, but in the end, you also want to count in Europe. That can only happen if the traditional top three is there. That’s where the best players belong.”

Ajax is clearly focussing on the future, to De Boer’s pleasure. “It’s good for the club that the majority of the selection will be playing together for another year, minimum. It’s a good group: young, but talented. Imagine if we can keep them together for two years, then things would look good for Ajax.”

Should this not pan out, the chance is great that De Boer will remain at the helm. “I don’t need to leave. If a club comes along that appeals to me, I’ll listen. But if I think I can create something great here, I may just stay with Ajax.” De Boer doesn’t want to hear talk of a best-before date. “The selection needs to feel that I can still add value. I think I can, but it needs to come from two sides. For now, I don’t see any reason to not stay.”

It’s all all food for thought for the long term. Right now, the match against Heerenveen is the most important. Despite the fact that the Fries team has sunk due to a series of bad results, De Boer is still on guard for the Eredivisie’s number seven team. “They’re a team that is hard to beat. They’re good on defence, they’re prepared to the dirty work for each other, too. Dwight Lodeweges always lets his team play fun football. They’re a good team, but we’re better. That’s why we need to win three points”