The morning after the cup victory against AZ, Frank de Boer looked ahead to the next top match: Ajax – FC Twente, on Sunday in the Amsterdam ArenA. ‘We could deal a blow.’
In addition to looking ahead to Ajax – FC Twente, the cup victory in Alkmaar was also discussed. Thanks to a 0-1 win against AZ, Ajax has qualified for the KNVB Cup semi-finals. It wasn’t a simple win, partly because Ajax was with ten men after only 33 minutes when Joël Veltman received a red card. De Boer wasn’t pleased with the young central defender’s two fouls. “This can’t happen at this level. I made that clear to Joël. It was a shame, because before that, we were in control of the match and had the best opportunities. We fought hard after that, and I’m very happy about that. But when AZ were down to ten men themselves, we forgot to continue playing.”
The cup finals have been reached, and on Sunday, Ajax can take a big step towards the national championships if they beat FC Twente. “FC Twente are playing well and, right now, they’re our biggest competition. But that can change, because otherwise, the differences are small. We can deal a blow to the competition on Sunday, but even if we win, we’re not there yet. The past few weeks have shown that you can definitely squander points against small clubs, too.”
De Boer, who posted his 100th win as Ajax’s coach on Thursday, looks towards Sunday’s match confidently. “Thanks to the win against AZ, we’re going into the match with a good feeling. That always helps. We’re going for the full three points on Sunday, that’s what you need to do when you play in the ArenA. FC Twente is normally is good for us, there will be more space for us than in other matches.” But the Enschede club remains a hefty opponent. If the game is lost, the battle for the championship will suddenly be much more exciting. De Boer: “Twente will smell blood then, and we need to prevent that.”
Ajax - FC Twente starts Sunday at 14:30.