“Everything needs to work”, said coach Erik ten Hag during Tuesday afternoon’s press conference prior to Ajax – Real Madrid. The coach, who has seen his team struggle recently, thinks that things could go differently on Wednesday.
Every football fan knows that Wednesday evening’s game isn’t just any ordinary match. But exactly how big the Champions League game between Ajax and Real Madrid is, was clear during the pre-game press conference with Erik ten Hag and Dusan Tadic.
It was so busy that there wasn’t space in the press room for all of the television cameras. All of the big media was present and hung onto the Ajax coach and player’s every word. The NOS asked Tadic what the problem is with Ajax right now. “We’re not doing very well right now, but that’s football”, was the Serb’s down-to-earth reaction.
“It’s up to us to stand up as a team. We need to play our own game on Wednesday, it doesn’t matter who our opponent is. We showed that against Bayern Munich. We need to focus on the football, and enjoy ourselves.”
Wednesday’s simply needs to be better than the ones from the past few weeks. Ten Hag admitted that he was going to take measures with his team for the game against Real Madrid. “Of course. I need to find solutions and the trainings on today will reflect that. This opponent is a challenging one, and we’re looking to that. We are confident that we can do it. We’re physically fit and, with the right team spirit, you can go far.”
Frenkie is fit
Naturally, the Spanish press wanted to know how Frenkie de Jong is recovering. The future player for Real’s arch-rival Barcelona left Saturday’s game against Heracles after just an hour. Ten Hag answered: “He’s fit. I expect that, as a future Barcelona player, he’ll be even more motivated about this game against Real Madrid, but then again, we all are.”
Real Madrid, as the title holder, isn’t just any club. “They could be an ideal opponent for us”, recognized Ten Hag. “Playing against Real is a big challenge and we need to be at 100 per cent. Everything needs to work, because Real Madrid has a very good structure, and is a good team. But we shouldn’t just look at them, we need to truly play as a team. In Amsterdam we’re usually very strong and we have something to prove”, concluded Ten Hag.