Ten Hag: 'Hakim will hopefully be back soon’

Ten Hag: 'Hakim will hopefully be back soon’

On Friday afternoon, Erik ten Hag looked ahead to NAC – Ajax.  The coach will have to do without Hakim Ziyech, who is injured.  “Fortunately, we have many good players.”

Ziyech suffered the knee injury during the interland break.  “But it could just as easily have happened during an Ajax match. Luckily, it’s not very serious, and we think he’ll be back relatively soon.  The prognosis was two weeks; it could be shorter, or a bit longer.  Obviously we’re going to miss Hakim, he’s our creative brain.  But we have other creative players in our selection.  We should be fine.”

Strong interland period
Ten Hag saw his players do well with their national teams.  “Especially for the Dutch national team, it was a great interland break.  The Ajax players were prominent.  But several of our foreign internationals did well.  From Ajax’s core group, 9 of them have grown into starting players in their national team.  That’s a good development.”

Don’t let the NAC evening gain momentum
Last-placed NAC is Ajax’s opponent on Saturday evening.  Last season, the final score was 0-8, so it’s tempting to underestimate them.  “But we need to prepare very well”, said Ten Hag.  “We look at each team’s strengths and weaknesses.  NAC has a team that plays well, with a good structure.  It’s up to us to make sure that the ‘NAC evening’ doesn’t gain momentum.”

Happy with Schöne’s contract extension
Just before the press conference, it was announced that Lasse Schöne had extended his contract with Ajax by one year.  He’ll be an Ajacied until mid-2020, to Ten Hag’s pleasure.  “His development has been fantastic, and at his age.  He’s still more a player who adds value in phase one of the build-up, he’s taking steps in terms of defense.  And he’s now also a starting player for the Danish team.  That’s typical of him.”