Ten Hag: 'Kiev uses the Lobanovski-style'

Ten Hag: 'Kiev uses the Lobanovski-style'

On Tuesday afternoon, Erik ten Hag expressed his positive impression of Dynamo Kiev, Ajax’s opponent in the UEFA Champions League play-offs.  The fact that, on a national level.  the Ukrainian team has won 5 straight games by 1-0 speaks volumes to the coach.  “That says a lot, of course”, said Ten Hag.  “They play with the Lobanovski style.  That’s the club’s DNA, I think.”

“They’re simply a good opponent”, continued Ten Hag.  “They’re sharp shooters, they often just need one or two opportunities.  In addition to that, they’re always very disciplined and they can play to the 0 very well.”

On Wednesday, Ajax will need to face the first game in the Johan Cruijff ArenA without David Neres.  The Brazilian suffered from a pulled hamstring during Saturday’s game in Venlo and was forced off the field at the 25 minute mark.  Ten Hag: “It doesn’t look that bad, but we’ll need to wait a few days to see how it progresses.”

‘Wait and see when Neres will be ready to play’

“Playing is out of the question tomorrow, and I think the same thing for Saturday.  Not sure about the return yet, although I do think it’s a bit soon for David to be ready to play in that match.  Again: we need to wait and see.”

Ten Hag refused to disclose who would replace Neres, and wouldn’t be baiting into answering.  “Labyad is an option, but there are others, such as Van de Beek, although then we’d have to shift the squad around.  I’ve often said that we have more than 11 squad players.  We’ll need to be flexible for each match.”


'Take things as they are'

Ten Hag was asked if it was a disadvantage that Ajax would play the first game at home.  “I never think about that”, the coach answered candidly.  “You need to take things as they are.”

That doesn’t change the fact that a clean sheet is on his wish list.  “When you play away first, then you really want to score an away goal.  That’s common knowledge.  So we need to prevent a goal against tomorrow.  We want to put them in the position of having to perform.  The 0 is very important.  If we can score one goal, then it’s a great position to be in for the away game.”

'The supporters were fantastic in our last home game’

Ten Hag feels good about the upcoming game against Dynamo Kiev.  The longing to join the big tournament is real throughout the club, as he knows.  “When I see what an amazing atmosphere our supporters created in our last home game…it was fantastic for me.  The Champions League is the ultimate.  The fans want to be active on the biggest stage, too.  The same goes for the players, they’re very hungry.  Their ambition is to measure themselves against top European clubs like Real Madrid and Bayern Munchen.”