Ajax vs Juventus: Dutch Side’s Coach Speaks On Return Leg

Ajax vs Juventus: Dutch Side's Coach Coach Speaks On Return Leg. IMAGE COURTESY: The Independent

Ajax vs Juventus: Dutch Side’s Coach Speaks On Return Leg. IMAGE COURTESY: The Independent

Ajax Head Coach, Erik ten Hag says his side can reach the Champions League semi-finals if they have “100 per cent belief” following their 1-1 draw with Juventus in the last-eight first leg on Wednesday.

Concise News reports that the surprise team of this season’s competition, Ajax produced another impressive performance in yesterday’s clash in Amsterdam, where David Neres cancelled out Cristiano Ronaldo‘s opener.

Ajax – who stunned three-time reigning champions Real Madrid in the last 16 – were dominant against Juve at the Johan Cruijff Arena, with the Dutch giants unfortunate not to add to Neres’ 46th-minute equaliser.

After Frenkie de Jong and a youthful Ajax side starred again, head coach Ten Hag tells reporters: “I think we pushed our boundaries again this night. But if we want to reach the semi-finals, we have to put in a lot of effort in the next game.

“We can use this game as an example, we can learn from it. If we have a 100 per cent belief, we can get a result there.

“We played very maturely for 99.9 per cent of the game, yes. There was only one moment in which we didn’t pay attention. They immediately took advantage of that.

“If you want to take the next step, you’ll have to improve that. Of course, Juventus are still favourite in this tie, but today we showed we can measure ourselves with a team like this.”

“If we want to beat them, we can’t have weak moments against a club like this. If you don’t pay attention for one second, they will punish you for that. So, we’ll have to improve that,” he continues.

“I think we had a good game plan and we executed it very well. I wished we scored the second goal, but we have to be happy with this result. We have to bury this result because we play against Excelsior next weekend.”

Ten Hag adds: “I told my players it was important not to lose. You have to count your blessings at some time. You have to feel that a draw is a maximum result possible.

“We failed against Bayern Munich in the home game [of their group-stage fixture], giving away a 3-2 score. Against Real Madrid, you concede the 1-2. So this is the result we bring to Turin. The draw is a result, which allows us to have a better position for the away game.”

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Ridwan is a trained communicator who specialises in football and squash. He has been published by African Examiner. He provides professional coverage of general news, politics and sports, and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first Nigerian interview with South Africa's no. 1 male squash player, Jean-Pierre Brits. He is a proud Nigerian and campaigner for #NigeriaIsOurs.

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