Coach Marcel Keizer, making his debut, admitted that the 1-1 result at Nice was a good one. “This is positive, but it’s definitely not over yet”, said Keizer, guarding against too much optimism.
Nice has a good team. That could be seen for big parts of this game. “In the first half, we didn’t have much room to play football. We also knew Nice’s game: swoop in and get out. We didn’t use that to our advantage enough. We didn’t create anything. We needed to do better. Then that goal came, from a throw-in, even. That was very sloppy, to say the least. After that, they had the upper hand, and we were lucky to come away with just 1-0 down”
At halftime, the players were critical of each other, Keizer said, and he was able to get them in the right spirit. After the break, Ajax made a few small changes. “We needed to be more patient in our build-up. If we did that, then Nice would perhaps step out sooner, and it worked. That’s when Donny scored the goal. Of course Donny’s a good friend of Appie and it’s great that he’s the one who scored, but Appie has many friends in the selection. I was purely happy for him that he scored, and Appie would be, too.”
In the last five minutes, despite having had many opportunities in the second half to bring the game to 2-1, it was Ajax who came under attack. “I need to discuss exactly what happened with the guys, because it didn’t look good. The 1-1 is a good result, but it’s definitely not over yet”, were Keizer’s closing words in his first post-game conference for Ajax 1.
Read more: Ajax in a good position after tie in Nice
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