On the day after the heroic UEFA Europa League quarter-final showdown against Schalke 04, Peter Bosz expressed his good mood, as well as that of his fellow Ajacieds. At the Toekomst Sports Comples, the Ajax coach also looked ahead to the upcoming match against PSV.
After the return trip from Gelsenkirchen, the match against Schalke was sealed with a training at the Toekomst. After the training, Bosz looked ahead again. The Eindhoven-based number three team from the Eredivisie is licking its wounds. Last weekend, PSV wasted valuable points in the race for the title.
‘Nice return trip from Gelsenkirchen’
“The return trip was nice”, said the Ajax coach about the mood on Friday morning. “We watched the draw in the bus. After that, it was over. We don’t have much time to prepare for the match against PSV.”
The Ajacieds will face a determined opponent in PSV on Sunday. The competition game is most likely the Eindhoven team’s last hope to stay alive in the race. “Their self-confidence has suffered a blow, which is only logical”, said Bosz, referring to the Brabant team’s most recent loss of points. The Ajax coach hopes that his team can play its own game in the Philips Stadium. They will do everything to leave Eindhoven with a win in the pocket.
Sinkgraven not available against PSV
Daley Sinkgraven hasn’t yet recovered sufficiently to play in the match against PSV. The multifunctional defender was also unable to play against Schalke. His recovery will need more time.
Bosz acknowledges that the recovery time is minimal after the wear-and-tear of the game in Gelsenkirchen. The final result – a spot in the semi-finals – makes up for a lot, but not everything. “Two days to recover is not enough. That’s true for a 90 minute-match, let alone a 120 minute one. Although some aches and pains will be felt; the feeling that we have right now will definitely give us power for the match against PSV. I’m convinced of that.”
‘Many thought we were dead and buried’
Ajax made a dramatic start to Thursday’s return match against Schalke. After the 3-0 deficit, the team turned it around. “We forgot to play; we were under pressure”, said Bosz in conclusion. “Schalke wanted to fight, and we gave them the chance to do that. Many thought that we were dead and buried.”
What followed was a miraculous resurrection. “If you’re 3-0 down, and are able to score 2 goals with just 10 men, then you can imagine how we felt afterwards. I couldn’t find the right words in the locker room afterwards. I couldn’t say anything. I was so proud of the guys. If you can turn around a match for that, then you’ve earned a lot of respect.”
Bosz praised the collective team. The dramatic start was made up, in spades. “This was an absolute team achievement. The guys who substituted also did a great job. It was a pleasure to watch. We could have played a smarter game, though. This result shows the spirit of the group right now. Although, yesterday evening, I never once had the feeling that we were dead. We kept pressing offensively. After the 3-1, we weren’t struggling anymore.”