Erik ten Hag is clear about Ajax’s intentions in the home game against AEK Athens. “When you’re in a pool with 4 teams, you need to look at it mathematically. You need to win every home game in order to go through. Tomorrow is our first challenge”, said the coach at the press conference on the eve of the UEFA Champions League game.
Ten Hag: 'Need to win all of the home games'
The Ajax coach has immersed himself extensively in AEK Athens, a team that ended last season in second place in Greece. “The team is cut out for European football. They know how the game’s played and know the rules of European football.”
‘We have lots of energy’
Ajax will thus face a solid opponent, one that can’t easily be pushed aside. Ten Hag is confident, but is cautious. “We’re confident, but we can’t think that we’re going to just walk through this. All of the teams in the Champions League are good.”
Ten Hag was asked by a reporter if he is pleased to kick off at home. The coach said he was not bothered. “You have no influence on this, so we just take it as it comes. We have a log of energy to go full speed ahead. The fans have waited a long time for Champions League football and are undoubtedly excited about it. We hope that this enthusiasm will translate into a fantastic atmosphere. There will definitely be a good cup atmosphere. We’re looking forward tot hat.”
Dolberg in the selection?
There is a chance that Kasper Dolberg will be in Wednesday’s selection. The striker was meant to make his comeback in Monday’s Ajax Reserves game after an absence of several months, but he was forced to postpone his return due to mild knee pain.
But Ten Hag refuses to refer to this as a new injury. “No, that’s putting it too strongly. He got up and had mild pain in his knee cavity, but I wouldn’t call that an injury. Today he’s feeling better. He’s going to train later and then we’ll take a look.”
When asked whether Dolberg would potentially be able to be part of the selection, he answered “definitely”.