‘We need to set our own pace’

‘We need to set our own pace’

Ajax will face RKC Waalwijk on Wednesday evening (18:45). Ajax didn’t manage to score in the Amsterdam ArenA earlier this season, and the 0-0 outcome was both surprising and disappointing. “We need to play aggressively and set our own pace”, said coach Frank de Boer on Tuesday afternoon.

De Boer will have to make do without Niklas Moisander, just like on Sunday. “RKC is still too soon for him”, said the coach, who will also have to do without Siem de Jong and Viktor Fischer. “Things with Siem are going well, although Niklas is further along in his recovery that he is. Viktor won’t make it back this season.”

But the 18 man selection for RKC is in top shape. After last weekend’s match against Twente, that’s good news. Even the Ajax coach was thinking of the RKC Waalwijk match straight after the victory against title competitor FC Twente. “We needed to transition quickly and the matches are close to each other. And I am the one who needs to react the fastest of all. So, right after Twente, I was thinking of the next match. And I decided quickly how I wanted to do it against RKC. RKC created problems for us at home and they’ve posted good results against big teams. They keep ten players on the ball and hope for that one hit. That’s how they beat Roda 1-0 on Sunday. I think RKC will be pleased with one point on Wednesday.”

The crowd was happy after the win, but De Boer and his players didn’t get carried away. “We celebrated the win appropriately. We took an important step, but we don’t have anything yet. There are still five matches to be played, and we need to get points. I’m constantly saying that we need to play each and every match with the same determination as against AZ or Twente if we want to win this race.”