'Let’s beat Heerenveen first'

'Let’s beat Heerenveen first'

As the adidasmiCoach Performance Centre was opened on Friday afternoon, everyone was also looking ahead to the important league match against sc Heerenveen, of course. Ajax is two wins away from the thirtieth national title. Frank de Boer says the match in Friesland on Sunday is ‘crucial’.

De Boer hasn’t seen any significant changes during practice over the last week, compared to the previous weeks. So the tension is good, the Ajax manager made clear. ,,But of course everybody is thinking about it. The group realises we are two wins away from the title. But we must actually win those two matches. That is why we must beat Heerenveen, before we can even begin to look ahead to the match against Twente.”

De Boer has an almost completely fit team for the thrilling final stage of the league, and for the cup final against Twente. Only Maarten Stekelenburg (thumb), Bruno Silva (shoulder) and Rasmus Lindgren (knee) aren’t fit to play. In Silva’s case De Boer said he hoped the Uruguayan would be able to join the selection again during the preparation for the new season.

Strikers were also a topic of conversation on Friday afternoon. Both Ajax’ strikers and Heerenveen’s. Asked about the lack of goals scored by Mounir El Hamdaoui, De Boer said: ,,I am satisfied about Mounir’s dedication. It’s not about who scores, it’s about winning those three points. Of course it’s logical that a striker would score, but if others score, that is fine too. Fact is though, that Mounir hasn’t scored for a while. He has to do better and he knows it.”

Heerenveen’s striker was also mentioned. Bas Dost came close to transferring to Ajax last winter. ,,We’re a few months on now. Bas is doing very well with Heerenveen. He started the last eight matches and has scored four consecutive goals. We certainly have our eye on him.” In answer to the trick question whether or not Dost must do his best to convince Ajax on Sunday, De Boer replied: ,,He must do his very best.”