Ajax go for result in Marseille: 'Though we will miss our fans'


Coach John van 't Schip and defender Jorrel Hato expect Thursday's game against Marseille to be a different game from the one against the French side at the Johan Cruijff ArenA. That match ended 3-3 in September. "It is no longer as open with us as it was a few months ago."


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With Hato behind the microphone, it was quite logical that the duel with Vitesse came up for a moment. The defender scored his first goal for Ajax in that match. At that milestone, his father sat in the stands. His dad is a Rotterdammer and actually supports Feyenoord. "Because I scored that goal, next time he'll put on an Ajax shirt," laughed the defender.

"Of course he is extremely proud. I think he made that deal with me because he wanted to see me score. I can always see my father sitting during the game."

Load capacity
For the defender, it is already his 19th game of the season. He has always completed the full 90 minutes. "I don't actually suffer from that load. Things are going well this year. On the pitch, I primarily do what I have to do. Even though this year has not always been easy."

The 17-year-old Hato was also there from start to finish in the home game against Marseille. "In that match we created a lot of chances, we will go for that tomorrow too. Unfortunately, we also got many challenges. We have to avoid that tomorrow."

Back to 1988
Coach Van 't Schip elaborated a little further on the game against the French number 12 of the league. "We are here to get a result. So what our pool looks like for the remainder - we won't get into that now. We want to build on what we are doing."

He does see a formidable opponent in the French superpower. Even though the club is not doing well from a sporting perspective at the moment either. "Marseille do have a lot of individual quality," Van 't Schip explained. "The coach (Genaro Gattuso, ed.) is trying to make the team even better. They, like us, are in a position they don't want to be in. We want to take advantage of that situation. Like in 1988 when I played here." Ajax eliminated Marseille in the semi-finals of the European Cup II back then.

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