The day after the loss to Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, Frank de Boer looked ahead to this weekend and the scheduled game at sc Heerenveen. “It’s usually a show in the Abe Lenstra Stadium”, according to the head coach.
De Boer was on the training field again early the next morning in Kiev. The head coach had had a restless night. “I’ve slept better”, he said after the training session had ended in the Lobanovsky stadium. “I woke up at six. Then, I watched the match against Dnipro again.”
The images were consistent with the feeling that he had on Thursday evening after the game. “We didn’t take full advantage of our opportunities to score. I don’t think we realized what a huge step we could have taken. We just didn’t pull the trigger. That’s a shame, because now we’re travelling back to Amsterdam with a bad result.”
Before the master plan for the return against Dnipro gets worked out, the focus will first shift to Heerenveen, Ajax’s opponent on Sunday. There won’t be time for extensive preparations. “We really just have one day. On Saturday at 8:30 the staff will be at the club and we’ll be briefed by Tonnie Bruins Slot. Heerenveen has been playing with ups and downs. Dwight Lodeweges definitely likes his team to play very offensive football. And especially in the Abe Lenstra Stadium, that always results in a spectacular show.”
Jasper Cillessen, Lasse Schöne and Davy Klaassen didn’t join the outdoor training in Kiev and instead took part in recovery training in the hotel. “But everyone is fit enough to play on Sunday. Lasse got kicked on his foot and it was a bit swollen. But it’s not serious. Everyone else got through the match unscathed.”