Erik ten Hag won’t have Nico Tagliafico at his disposal for Sunday’s home game against sc Heerenveen. The Argentinian is suffering from a knee injury. Andre Onana is sick and still a question mark for the resumption of competition play.
“Nico isn’t available”, according to Ten Hag. “It’s his knee, he’s not 100 per cent fit. It’s not too bad, I’m hoping to have him back towards Thursday, or next Sunday. We have several players who can fill in his position.” As potential replacements for the left back, Ten Hag named Daley Blind, Daley Sinkgraven, and Noussair Mazraoui. “Mazraoui did a great job in the States in that position.”
Headache for Andre Onana
Andre Onana went home with a headache on Friday. Ten Hag: “We don’t know how that’s going to look on Sunday. But it’s 2 days away, so he may have recovered by then. He wasn’t in any state to train, but I’m not worried right now.”
Good impression of Magallán and Traoré
Ten Hag was very pleased with his new acquisitions Lisandro Magallán and Lassina Traoré. “Magallán made a great impression. He confirmed the idea we had of him from all of the scouting reports. Traoré also did very well. He’s young, he’s a big talent. We actually wanted him to come to Amsterdam last year, but it wasn’t allowed yet. Lassina is going to start with the Ajax Reserves, to get accustomed.”
'Heerenveen has had many goals scored against them. They have their weaknesses, defensively'
Get back into the flow quickly
Of course, Ajax needs to get back into the same good rhythm as before the winter break as soon as possible. Ten Hag: “Some of the players really needed the break. Now we need to pick things up quickly. Getting into a good rhythm isn’t going to just happen by itself. But we played against some good opponents in Florida, that went well, and these were certainly not friendly games. But we still need to fine tune certain things. For example, those goals against: we really need to do better.”
Ten Hag knows that a good team is coming on Sunday. “Heerenveen scores easily, they’re very good in transition. But they’ve also had many goals scored against them, so they definitely have their weaknesses, defensively.”