Ten Hag: 'Green light for Daley Blind'



The best news that came during the press conference leading up to the match against PSV was that Daley Blind is on his way back.  “It’s a green light”, said Ten Hag in the Toekomst’s press room.  “Now we need to see how quickly he can be available to play, but that’s hard to say right now.”

Like he does every week, Erik ten Hag went through the current state of affairs.  Good news for central defender Daley Blind: “He’s being monitored constantly and he’s undergone many examinations.  They’ve been so good that this week, he got a green light.  As of now, he can do everything, and he’s back in the group.  He could potentially return to playing very soon, but it’s hard to say exactly when.  We’ll need to discuss it with Daley and see how he feels.”

Update Onana, Neres and Ziyech
Keeper Andre Onana, who was forced to miss last Sunday’s game in Groningen, is back with the group.  But there was disappointing news as well: “David Neres’  recovery isn’t going as well as we’d hoped.  I had expected him to be back by February 1st, but that won’t happen.  Hakim Ziyech’s recovery is going according to plan, but I still can’t say when he’ll be back.”

It definitely won’t be on Sunday as Ajax plays PSV.  The Eindhoven team is currently number 5 in the rankings, while Ten Hag’s formation, despite last week’s loss to FC Groningen, is still in first place.  Ten Hag had this to say about PSV’s disappointing performance: “I’m focusing on my own tea, but we’ll definitely take PSV’s current situation into account.  We know enough about them and we need to play very well.”

'We know what we can do'

Things haven’t been going very smoothly with his own team recently.  “I don’t think those bad games are bothering the players.  We know what we can do.  Not so long ago, we played a good game against Club Brugge, 70 good minutes against Sparta, and the last part of the game against Groningen was outstanding.  Obviously it’s difficul when you’re missing key people, because then reflexes get lost.  And we need tosolve that with other players.  The advantage of that is that they get to play games and get closer to the squad players.  The downside is that it doesn’t always work that well.”

Lassina Traoré
The reporters on hand wanted to know if Ten Hag would choose Lassina Traoré for centre forward on Sunday, but, as usual, the coach wouldn’t give any specific information about the line-up: “I’ve made my decisions, but I’m going to tell the players tomorrow evening.  There are many reasons to choose Lassina Traoré for centre forward.  He’s physical, fast, and brings a lot of skills.  In the back, Mazraoui and Dest are close to each other and can bring the qualities we need to the field.  But you can only choose one line-up.”

Deadline Day
Naturally, Ten Hag was asked about potential incoming and outgoing transfers.  “I’m focusing on PSV and Marc Overmars is working on transfers.  Of course I know Antony (about whom the media has been speculating recently) and I think he’s a good player.  But it’s not an issue right now.  Moreover, we’ve agreed not to let any starting players go during this winter transfer window.”

Ten Hag 50
Back to PSV.  Ten Hag has another reason to want to earn 3 points on Sunday.  He turns 50 on that day.  “This needs to be paired with a win.  Of course you can get over a loss on your birthday, but we’re not going to settle for that.”