Ten Hag: 'I respect the fact that we’re meeting a very good opponent’



Is Erik ten Hag nervous for his team’s visit to Mestalla?  A Spanish reporter asked him this question on the eve of Valencia – Ajax at the press conference.  “Well, I’m not someone who worries easily”, was Ten Hag’s reaction.  “But I respect the fact that we’re meeting a very good opponent.  Valencia has good players and a good team.  We need to prepare for that.”

Ten Hag very precisely identified Valencia’s strengths.  “They play with a lot of intensity here.  They’re also very skilled technically, and capable of playing at a fast pace.”

The team’s recent change of coach – Alberto Celades is the successor of the fired Marcelino – hasn’t diminished this.  “This coach is sticking to his predecessor’s style of playing and hasn’t changed much.  We know that.  We’re going to play from our own strengths and going for the win.  We always do.  Of course, it can turn out that it’s not meant to be.  Then so be it, but that’s never our perspective at the start of a game.”

Happy for 'daddy' Blind
Ten Hag selected 21 players for the trip to Valencia; one of these players, Daley Blind, will join the selection later on.  The left-footed player became a first-time father earlier today.  “I’ve very happy for the Blind family and sincerely congratulate them”, was Ten Hag’s reaction.  “It’s fantastic news.  And the timing’s good.  Daley will fly down tonight, and can play tomorrow.”