One goal short to be crowned champions on Sunday; the disappointment was understandably great for Ajax. ,,This really hurts'', coach Henk ten Cate said after the match.
The closest ending ever in the Dutch league did not go well for Ajax. Henk ten Cate put on a brave face during the press conference. ,,What a pity'', the Ajax boss said. ,,My first reaction was 'we're a bunch of idiots for giving it away'. But now I just think it's damn shame. We gave it all we had and we just ended up short. I want to congratulate PSV with their championship. If you lead the league after 34 matches, you're the deserving champions.''
Ten Cate did not put the blame of missing the title on his players. ,,I have to give them a big compliment. If you look at where Ajax came from and where we are now, we can be pleased. We played for the title to the last day and we scored the most goals of all clubs. And we did that with a very young team. Look at a guy like Gregory van der Wiel. He is only 19 years old, but he was the best player on the pitch today.''
Ajax now face a busy schedule. They face AZ in the Cup final next Sunday and after that the playoffs for a place in the Champions League start. ,,We have to pick ourselves up from the ground and finish the season well'', Ten Cate said about the last 28 days of the season.