Coach Frank de Boer was clearly pleased with his players after the match. “Three days ago we were in the Ukraine. We can be happy with our performance today.”
By playing Daley Sinkgraven, De Boer made a brilliant move. The midfielder was obviously present and the nice thing was that the Heerenveen crowd rewarded his plays with warm applause. “Of course it puts additional pressure when a player plays against his former club. But good players tend to play their best matches in those situations.” Moreover, Sinkgraven adjusted very well to the well thought-out tactics.
De Boer on the match: “I saw a fresh, good Ajax. We expected a Heerenveen offense that would put a lot of pressure towards the front. We counted on that and we came through it well. We were able to give lots of depth without the ball and we were continuously threatening. We had plenty of good moments and players who really played. Of course there were moments when Heerenveen could have pulled up to 2-2, as they became confident after the 1-2. They also had opportunities in the second half to tie the game, but we did well. The outcome could have been better than 1-4. Three days ago, we were in the Ukraine and we can certainly be happy with our performance today.”
De Boer had left Ricardo Kishna off the selection for disciplinary reasons. The coach discussed it briefly: “We had a discussion and his reaction wasn’t appropriate. That’s why I left him off the selection. But tomorrow he’ll report again to the club.”
The coach had complimentary words for eighteen year-old Riechedly Bazoer, who once again played a great match. “We said it to each other on the bench. He looks like he’s 27 years old when he’s playing, instead of an 18 year old kid. I think he’s played his best game ever today.”