Nico Tagliafico could return to Ajax 1 for Saturday’s game against VVV Venlo. The left back has recovered from a knee injury, explained Erik ten Hag in Friday afternoon’s press conference. Lisandro Magallán and Noussair Mazraoui cannot play due to injuries.
Magallán is suffering from a thigh injury, and Mazraoui from a painful hamstring. The expectation is that Mazraoui will be able to play again after this weekend.
Naturally, the team’s rough post-winter break start was discussed. “Hard words have been spoken, and we’ve been very critical of each other”, said Ten Hag, whose team squandered 5 points in 2 games. “You need to analyse that in a critical way, and then propose points for improvement, and move on. We’ve been lightweights, defensively. This was the case in the U.S., and against Heerenveen and Feyenoord after, too. It has everything to do with discipline. It’s a human reaction to give a little bit less when things are going well. But if you count up everyone’s little bit, you run into problems.”
Back to basics
Ajax is looking for its first Eredivisie win of 2019 against VVV-Venlo. “We need to get back to the basics”, said Ten Hag. “I’ve shown the players the reasons why things were going well before the winter break. Why were we good defensively then? How were we able to have such a long undefeated streak? If we can get back to that, some good results should follow.”