For the last time this season, Erik ten Hag took his place behind the microphone in the press room at the Toekomst sports complex. Naturally, the upcoming game at De Graafschap was the main topic: “We want to play with style and class”, said the trainer unequivocally.
Someone asked if Ajax was taking the game against De Graafschap seriously. “Of course. It’s a real game and we are taking it seriously. We also want to play this game with style and class. I understand that a championship trophy is also going to Eindhoven, that’s logical. We’re going to win the championship, but theoretically someone else could, instead. It’s all happened in football, the strangest things.”
Top scorer Tadic
Dusan Tadic is two goals behind Luuk de Jong. The press wanted to know if Ajax will do what it takes to make sure that the Ajacied, and not the PSV’er, ends up as the Eredivisie’s top scorer. “Of course not. The point is that we need to win”, was the short and clear answer from the coach.
Sentimentality doesn’t count
The coach revealed one name from his squad: “Klaas Jan Huntelaar will play tomorrow. A game at De Graafschap is special for him, because he’s played here and he comes from here. But sentimentality doesn’t count in my decision. I’m making this decision based on productivity.”
Neres still a question mark
The trainer was succint concerning David Neres, who is suffering from a hamstring injury: “We’re working on getting him ready to play, but I can’t say any more about that. We still need to train and I need to speak with the doctor. Based on that, we’re making calls and the strongest eleven will play.”
Onana won’t take penalties
There’s no room for craziness. So, when asked by supporter if Andre Onana would take a penalty if the margin was favourable, Ten Hag answered, unsurprisingly, “No”.
The coach took a pause in discussing the game and spoke about the upcoming transfer season. The question was if he had set a limit as to the number of players allowed to leave. “I could say that there’s a limit, but it’s no use. If pieces of the puzzle begin to move, you don’t know how it’s going to end. We have an aim for a number of players we’d like to keep, but we can’t decide how many it will be in the end.”