Ten Hag on Eiting: ‘See how it develops’

Ten Hag on Eiting: ‘See how it develops’

At the press conference on the eve of Ajax – Standard Liege, Erik ten Hag mainly discussed the lessons his team had learned from the away game (2-2).  Next to that, he discussed Carel Eithing’s availability.  “He had stomach cramps this morning.  We need to see how that develops.”

Ajax’s coach started by addressing the first game in Liege, where Ajax gave away a 0-2 lead in the second half. “I talked with the guys about this after the game. They all agreed that, in the second half. they had neglected the agreements we had made.”

Klaas Jan Huntelaar, who joined his coach for the conference, was of the same opinion.  “Everyone wanted to win that game.  We perhaps played on the counter too much.  We needed to keep winning the duels and ensure that we gained possession. We made too many mistakes in this in the second half.”

Plan for Standard Liege

But what’s the plan for Tuesday’s game?  Ten Hag: “On Tuesday, we’ll play our own game, and anticipate what Standard Liege will do.  I’m not expecting an open match.”

Huntelaar: “I think this can be a great game for us.  We could have been in a better position at this point, but I think we just need to play our own game and draw the match to ourselves.”

'Begin with the strongest eleven'

Ten Hag was asked about the substitutions he made in the home game against Heracles Almelo (1-1).  “That had an impact on the team’s momentum.  We had a good team on, but we weren’t managing and we didn’t book a good result.  That was disappointing.  But Standard Liege also spared 5 players.  On Tuesday, we’re going to start with our strongest eleven.”

The link with the much-discussed position of Frenkie de Jong was quickly made by the press. “Last season, when Frenkie was absent as a defender, the stability and pace dropped.  With Daley (Blind) we have gained someone who, like Frenkie, can play at midfield.  In Liege, they played together for the first time.  It just needs to settle down.”

'Every match is a 10'

But how important is this game, on a scale from 1 to 10?  Ten Hag’s answer was clear and simple: “Scale from 1 to 10?  Every game is a 10!”