Bosz: ‘Ajax must qualify for the CL on Wednesday’

Bosz: ‘Ajax must qualify for the CL on Wednesday’

Peter Bosz and Bertrand Traoré looked ahead to the Rostov match on Tuesday evening in the Olimp-2 stadium.  On Wednesday, Ajax and Rostov will play at 20:45 Dutch time for a spot in the UEFA Champions League group phase.

Ajax has been struggling in the past few weeks.  After ties against Roda JC (2-2) and Rostov (1-1), a loss to Willem II (1-2) brought fresh disappointment on Saturday evening.  “Everyone knows that this is a very important match”, said Bosz when asked whether the loss to the Tricolour team put extra pressure on the Rostov match.  “We must qualify for the Champions League on Wednesday.  That pressure has nothing to do with Willem II.”

Ajax always on the offense
Bosz and his Ajacieds will do whatever it takes to reach their goal on Wednesday evening.  Bosz: “We’re going to do everything we can to win.  If we need to change tactics, we will.  Of course we’re working on our own system every day, but we’re also looking at our opponents’ way of playing.  Both are important.” The Ajax coach knows that Ajax needs to score on Wednesday in order to have a shot at advancing into the coveted CL group phase.  Being on the offense is in the Amsterdam team’s blood, says Bosz.  Goals will hopefully follow.  “Ajax always is on the offense.  So not much changes for Ajax.”

Jasper Cillessen is a point of focus in the 21-player selection.  The regular first keeper has drawn interest from FC Barcelona.  Cillessen will travel to Rostov as part of the selection.  “He’s still an Ajacied”, continued Bosz during his press conference.  “We always travel with three keepers.  I’ve made a decision about who will be the keeper for this match.  I’m going to discuss it with my first keepers, and after that I’ll announce who will be in the goal.”

Heat is no problem for Traoré 
It is tropically warm in Rostov-on-Don.  Upon their arrival at Rostov Airport, the Ajacieds were introduced to the warm, clammy weather conditions in the South Russian metropolis.   The weather conditions are not a problem for Traoré.  “I actually prefer to play when it’s as warm as possible”, answered the forward from Burkina Faso after he was asked about the warm conditions.  “I like the weather here.”

His first weeks as an Ajacied have been good for the loaned-out player from Chelsea, although the results have been mediocre.  Traoré: “The fans are good to me, I’m very happy in Amsterdam.  For me personally and for the team, it’s now important to post good results and win matches.  Right now things are nice, but not perfect.  It’s time now to create opportunities and to score.  We didn’t manage to do that against Willem II and Roda JC.”

Just like his coach, Traoré emphasized the importance of this second match against Rostov.  “This match is very important for the club and the fans.  The club needs to play in Europe every season.  That’s also important for me, as a loaned out player: it’s all about European football and first place in the competition.  All of that is important to me.  I’m focused on all of those goals.”

Score goals
“Rostov played a good match”, said Traoré, referring to the first match in the ArenA.  “They played a good match, I even congratulated the keeper on his good performance.  Tomorrow is a different day and a different match.  I’m going to do everything I can to score tomorrow.  That’s my ambition, in any case.”