On Friday, Erik ten Hag looked ahead to the home game against AZ. Whether or not Frenkie de Jong will be able to play remains to be seen. The midfielder is still suffering from a calf injury.
“I can’t say yet if Frenkie will be able to play against AZ”, said Ten Hag. “He’s not fit right now, but we’re working towards Sunday.” The coach expects a lively game in the Johan Cruijff ArenA. “AZ may have lost some talent with the departures of Jahanbakhsh and Weghorst, but I see a solid structure on the field. The team definitely still has intention and quality.”
Left opportunities on the table
Naturally, the match against Bayern Munich was discussed. Perhaps Ajax had had the opportunity to bring home 3 points from Germany. “It would have been a giant step for us in the group if we had won. We left that opportunity on the table, we need to acknowledge that.” But still, the players celebrated the one point after the game. “Nothing crazy, though”, said Ten Hag. “But the guys should celebrate their achievement. It was the right time to relax a bit.”
As of Wednesday morning, the focus was fully on AZ. Ten Hag hopes that his team will bring as much energy to this game as it did on Tuesday in Munich. “Obviously, a game against Bayern is different. You’re challenged at the highest level. Players aren’t robots, but it almost shouldn’t matter if you’re playing in the Eredivisie or the Champions League. Players need to bring their best to every game. If you want to win titles, you need to be unbeatable each time.”