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The press conference began – perhaps in vain – with the hope that it would be mainly about the finals. The attendee did not agree immediately, but Ten Hag himself kept his jaws tight: “I am silent about these rumors, because this stage of the season is what is being talked about in Ajax. We fought hard to get here and now we have to stop it. That’s what we’re playing for on Sunday. “
Focus on the right choice
Ten Hag immediately took over the situation from goalkeeper Andre Onana, who has not been in good shape with his team in recent weeks after a couple of capital mistakes and inappropriate behavior. “Onana is still an Ajax player, but not in her best form. I’m discussing Onana’s attitude towards her, not the media.” Asked if the goalkeeper would be replaced on Sunday by Maarten Stekelenburg, as previously announced, the coach replied: “On Sunday, you will see that I will never announce the line-up.”
Outside of the Onana issue, Ten Hagil has an almost suitable option: “Martinez and Mazraoui are suitable and available, not yet Tagliafico. He may be moving, though, and we’ll have to watch it on Friday afternoon. “
Ten Hag also discussed the status of Mohamed Ihattaren as part of his election. “Ihattaren is moving forward. He’s getting stronger and in shape, and I hope he can continue down that path. The new Ajax player may even make his debut against the childhood PSV in the first selection of the Amsterdam team: “Is Mo in the selection? The players themselves hear it from me first.
Captain Dusan Tadic, who had joined his coach to speak to the press, was asked if it was difficult to concentrate on all the rumors surrounding his team. Tadic noted that this is part of it every season. “There is always interest in Ajax coaches and players. It’s sensible, so the focus is just there. The fact that the attacker lives in matches such as those against PSV was evident in his answer to the question of how much sense he had in the game. “On a scale of one to ten? Ten! “
There is no doubt that Ajax will meet PSV, a major competitor in the Dutch competition. However, the Amsterdam team seems to have a significant advantage over the Eindhoven, who had to play a difficult European game on Thursday night with a disappointing end result (1-2 loss against Leicester City, ed.). However, Ten Hag is not so sure that it will change much next Sunday. “The extra vacation against PSV is an advantage, but in the end we just have to play football. It’s that simple.” The coach was also impressed by Roger Schmidt’s team, which has not been completely shaken down in the competition. “This team is causing chaos and trying to put good pressure on it. They also played very well in Europe this week.
While Ten Hag resolutely and repeatedly rejected questions about Manchester United, Tadic had to answer the necessary questions about his coach. The Serb had no choice but to praise his coach, and he wished Ten Hag to stay in Amsterdam. “I hope Ten Hag stays, he’s a great coach. One of the best in the world.” The captain continues: “He is so well aware of our opponents and always knows exactly what the game needs.
The English journalist knew better than to ask about United at the end of the conversation, but put the Ajax coach to the test of English with the question of whether he had managed to cope with all the rumors of the past week. Ten Hag was not afraid to show his confidence in English: “We know very well how to do it.”