“These next 2 weeks will be difficult for us”, sighed Marcel Keizer at the post-game conference of Ajax – FC Utrecht. With the interland break coming up, the loss at home (1-2) is untimely. “We brought too little to the table to be able to beat Utrecht.”
“Actually, I feel that a tie would have been more well-deserved”, continued Keizer. “But that wouldn’t have been enough for us, either. The only thing that mattered to us was to win.”
The coach saw his team experience a mediocre start. “We were very bad for the first 5 minutes. We definitely should take the blame for that. After that, we fought our way back into the game. That took a lot of spirit coupled with intensity, and resulted in good football. The 1-1 goal kind of came out of nowhere. It wasn’t really a big opportunity, but it was nice to go into the break with that goal to our credit.”
'Not a good idea'
After the break, Ajax became even more stagnant. “Against a very organized Utrecht, we had trouble creating any opportunities”, recognizes Keizer.
When asked, the Ajax coach explained the substitutions. Especially the 3rd one was much discussed. Donny van de Beek was the one who came in for Siem de Jong, not Klaas Jan Huntelaar. “Siem was exhausted. We decided to bring in Donny. We could perhaps have been more opportunistic, but against Utrecht – who was playing a very organized and good game – I didn’t think that would be a good idea.”
See also: Loss at home hard blow for Ajax