Ten Hag has no problem with pressure: ‘We put in on ourselves’



At the press conference leading up to Ajax – APOEL, Erik ten Hag emphasized once again the importance of the return game of the play-offs for a Champions League ticket.  “It’s an incredibly important game.  For the team, for all of the players, for Ajax and for Dutch football.”

Ten Hag says that his team isn’t bothered by the high expectations.  “We put that pressure on ourselves.  We’re ambitious and we want to make it to the main tournament.  We know how great it can be, but at the same time, how difficult it is to reach it.  It doesn’t happen very often that a Dutch team earns a spot via the qualifying rounds.  We made it last year and now we want to do it again.  We’ve had a taste of the Champions League and it was amazing.”

‘I think he’s very good and I’m glad he’s still playing for Ajax.’

Ten Hag expects that Ajax will take care of business before its home crowd.  “0-0 is dangerous, in terms of Europe, but it’s also a good result for an away game.  It’s in our hands.  We believe in the players, and the players believe in each other.  We know that we’ll have to give it everything we’ve got, and trust that it will end well.”

At the press conference, as is customary, a player joined the coach.  This time, it was Hakim Ziyech.  The left-footed player earned praise from his coach.  “I think he’s very good and I’m glad he’s still playing for Ajax.”

Agreeing with his coach
And can Ziyech still get better?  “I’m sure of it.  I think that he took a big step last season.  This year, he can take another big step forward.”  Ziyech agrees with his coach.  He said with a broad smile: “Well, if the coach says so, it must be true.”