Ten Hag: 'Es ist Halbzeit'

Ten Hag: 'Es ist Halbzeit'

Erik ten Hag and Max Wöber previewed the return agaisnt Sturm Graz from Austria on Thursday. Both the manager and player are confident of a good result. ,,But we’re not there yet”, according to Ten Hag. ,,We must keep our cool.”

,,It’s football; it’s unpredictable”, Ten Hag replied to the question whether Ajax’ 2-0 lead is sufficient in itself. ,,We scored 2 goals at home, no counter goal. But we’re only halfway there. Es ist Halbzeit. We must keep our cool. Of course we feel great after the home match, especially about the way in which we gained victory. We revelled in it for a moment, but now it’s back to the grindstone.”

Champions League is main objective
If Ajax comes out victorious against Sturm Graz, then the club is certain of European football. Ten Hag’s team will proceed to the 3rd preliminary round of the Champions League, but if they fail there or in the play-offs, they still at least have the Europa League waiting for them. ,,Sturm Graz is the 1st hurdle. So if we qualify, I’m happy, simply because it means we’re playing European football, whatever happens. But our ultimate goal is of course to play the Champions League.”

Max Wöber and Erik ten Hag

Wöber on the first eleven? The manager wasn’t giving anything away..

' We’re only halfway there.'

Ajax can do much better
the manager is convinced that Ajax can do much better. ,,Many things went well against Sturm, but many other things went wrong. We’ve been working on those this past week. Of course things aren’t perfect from the start. Not everyone is on top form in the 1st match; some players are new , others are only just back in training.”

Wöber feels the competition
Max Wöber joined Ten Hag for the press conference in his home country. Whether that means that he’ll be on the first eleven in Graz on Wednesday is not something the manager is willing to divulge just yet. ,It is possible. We have many good players and Max is definitely 1 of them."

The player himself feels there is stiff competition. ,,Yes, of course, and certainly now that Daley Blind has joined", says the Austrian. ,,Last week Frenkie played my position. I think all 3 of us are good at it. We’ll see who’s playing tomorrow." Ten Hag: ,,And 11 players doesn’t hack it in modern football anymore either. You achieve results with your team, with the players you’ve selected. You may be on the bench one time and on the first eleven the very next match."