Noussair Mazraoui may potentially be absent from Saturday’s game at VVV-Venlo. “We need to see if he’s going to make it tomorrow”, said Erik ten Hag at Friday’s press conference. “Noussair’s knee if bothering him. There’s a question mark behind his name.”
Concerning Klaas Jan Huntelaar’s participation, Ten Hag was more optimistic. The striker still has problems with his back following the PAOK game from last Tuesday. But it seems that he will be available.
“During the last penalty situation, someone fell on top of him. Klaas Jan came out of the game somewhat hurt, and skipped Wednesday’s training. He’s going to train later, but we need to wait and see. But as it looks right now, I’m optimistic.”
Only Eiting is training separately from the group
Otherwise, Ten Hag has a fit selection. “We came out well from the PAOK game. Some of our players have been out for a bit longer, but have returned and have joined the group trainings. That’s Siem de Jong and Zakaria Labyad. Only Carel Eiting still can’t train with the group.”
Ajax has started well in the new season by winning the Johan Cruifjj Shield and reaching the UEFA Champions League play-offs. Ten Hag thinks his team is on the right track.
“We feel that something great can happen. I’ve seen good things in the past weeks, on Tuesday for sure. The point is that we’re going to fine tune our playing, as we also realise that there is a lot to improve.”
'He has football smarts'
During the weekly press conference, individual players were extensively discussed. Quincy Promes and Razvan Marin were brought up; according to Ten Hag, these two newcomers need time to come into their own.
Ten Hag said the following about Marin: “There are some things that he does very well. For example, defending. On Tuesday, he was good on defence. But there are other things that he can improve on. I feel that he should be more dominant in the build-up, especially in choosing positions. But he needs to get accustomed and will get the time he needs to adjust to our way of playing. But he has the football smarts that he needs in his position, that’s for sure.”