Ten Hag sticks to club philosophy: 'That’s what we’re good at'

Ten Hag sticks to club philosophy: 'That’s what we’re good at'

On Tuesday, Ajax will defend its 2 goal lead at Dynamo Kiev, but that doesn’t mean that Erik ten Hag will have his team play defensively.  On the contrary.  “We want to be directive and play with guts.  That’s Ajax’s philosophy.  Keeping the opponent far from our own goal is part of our plan.”

It’s very important to hold on to our own identity in each game, because that’s what we’re good at.  That’s our point of view”, continues Ten Hag.  “But the better the opponent, the harder this is to do.” The coach and his team are prepared for Dynamo to be opportunistic.  “We saw that in Amsterdam last week, it was part of their playing and we’ll need to arm ourselves against that.”

Race against the clock

A few days ago, Ajax had to do without David Neres.  The Brazilian player has now returned to the match selection, but it remains to be seen whether he can play or not.  “It’s all a bit tricky, and tight to manage.  The process went well but, as we said last week, David needs every possible hour in order to be fit enough to start.  He’s going to train later and we’ll see how he recovers.”

“The stakes are high, but we need to act responsibly with the risks.  We can’t afford to lose David for 6 weeks because we took a risk we shouldn’t have.”

Daley Blind was at the press conference, too.  The left-footed player was asked if he thought that people in the Netherlands were counting their chickens before they hatched.  “We’re always optimistic in the Netherlands”, said Blind.  “Of course it’s great to go from our own strength, but it’s not a sure thing.  This will be a very difficult match.  We’ll need to do our best to make it to the Champions League.”