Leading up to the home game against Roda JC, Marcel Keizer discussed the useful midweek friendly against Borussia Mönchengladbach (2-1), the improved combination play, and the competition between Justin Kluivert and Amin Younes: “The ideas around field play are becoming clearer.”
“I think it was a good friendly game against a fine opponent”, said the head coach, referring to the home win against the German team. “They gave us a good challenge, especially for the young guys.”
,,I was pleased with his performance."
The Ajax coach sees more of this type of friendly game in the future. “After the winter break, we could do this more frequently, perhaps 2 or 3 times. It could also potentially be an away game.”
The team’s improved performances in the past weeks have led to Keizer’s satisfaction. “In terms of field play, we’re becoming better. This was the case against Borussia Mönchengladbach, NAC Breda (0-8) and Willem II (1-3). We scored three goals in the final fifteen minutes in our last match. The ideas on the field are becoming clearer. This is partly thanks to Daley Sinkgraven, who brings in more variation. It’s a shame that Daley’s been injured again.”
'Makes sense to stick with what's working'
The Ajax coach was questioned about Kluivert’s performance, and how he compares to Younes. “I think Justin’s a good player, regardless. I thought he played a disciplined game against NAC Breda. He demands many balls and there’s nothing wrong with that, but in some games, he’s beeen floating all over the field. He had a free role against Gladbach, but he remained on the left side. I was pleased with his performance.”
Competition on the flank
Regarding the competition for the left wing position, Keizer remained succinct: “Younes has been out for a couple of weeks, and Justin’s been doing a good job.”
Keizer revealed that he’s not planning to make many changes: “Not just because of our 0-8 win against NAC Breda, but because of our field play. It makes sense to stick with what's working for us. But we’ll need to make some changes”, Keizer concluded, referring to Sinkgraven’s injury. Moreover, Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Nick Viergever are question marks.