NO EX­CUSES PLEASE

Ajax boss tells Jose not to use tired­ness as rea­son if he loses Europa League fi­nal

New Straits Times - - Sport -

AJAX man­ager Peter Bosz has warned Jose Mour­inho not to use fa­tigue as an ex­cuse if Manch­ester United fall short against his team in the Europa League.

The Dutch gi­ants have shrugged off the dis­ap­point­ment of miss­ing out on the Ere­di­visie ti­tle by fo­cus­ing their at­ten­tions on their first Euro­pean fi­nal since 1996 and Bosz is rel­ish­ing the op­por­tu­nity of lead­ing his young squad out in Stock­holm on Wed­nes­day.

Their do­mes­tic sea­son is over and Bosz has metic­u­lously mapped out Ajax’s prepa­ra­tions.

He had a full squad of 24 train­ing at their De Toemkost base on Thurs­day and they were to have dou­ble ses­sions the next two days be­fore trav­el­ling to Swe­den on Mon­day.

His laid-back at­ti­tude was a stark con­trast to Mour­inho, who is fu­ri­ous United must ful­fil their fi­nal Premier League fix­ture against Crys­tal Palace to­mor­row. That will be their 63rd game of the cam­paign but Bosz does not be­lieve such a work­load is over­bear­ing. To this point, Ajax have played 55 times and Bosz does not be­lieve that com­plaints about tired­ness or sched­ules are cred­i­ble ahead of a game of such mag­ni­tude. The dif­fer­ence, he be­lieves, is the fact the pres­sure is firmly on United’s shoul­ders.

“We will play our 56th game next Wed­nes­day and if you look at the age of the play­ers we have, then it is a re­ally young team who have also played a lot of games,” said Bosz. “We trained with 24 play­ers to­day — that is the whole of my squad, no one was in­jured.

“So in­stead of look­ing at Manch­ester, I look at my team and the most im­por­tant thing is we are fit and fresh, no­body is in­jured and that’s a great way to pre­pare team for next Wed­nes­day. I never look at coaches from other teams.

“I’m look­ing at them and analysing where we can win some­thing, win some de­tails, but, on the other hand, I al­ways look at my team, our strengths and how we can beat op­po­nents. I be­lieve it is not by look­ing at them, but by look­ing at our­selves.”

Mour­inho has gam­bled on the Europa League pro­vid­ing a path­way back in the Cham­pi­ons League for United; hav­ing al­ready won the League Cup, they are hot favourites to see off Ajax, who fielded the youngest side in Dutch his­tory last week­end with an av­er­age age of 20 years and 139 days.

Their youth is some­thing that many sus­pect will see them fall short in Stock­holm but Bosz feels their youth is some­thing that will lead to them se­cur­ing the sup­port of neu­trals; he can’t be cer­tain how they will re­act but he has to­tal be­lief in the way Ajax play foot­ball.

“It’s true both teams are big clubs in Europe with a big his­tory and it is true they have more ex­pe­ri­ence and more money,” said Bosz. “But I be­lieve we have fan­tas­tic play­ers or we would not be in the fi­nal. I feel no pres­sure, just the pres­sure that ev­ery­one dreams of in these mo­ments.

“It is true that they are young, but they learnt a lot. Next Wed­nes­day will be our 19th Euro­pean game this sea­son. I hope they have learned from pre­vi­ous games and I am just look­ing for­ward. They have a big­ger bud­get for sure and if be­cause of the big­ger bud­get they feel pres­sure then that is pos­si­ble.

“We will try to do the same as we al­ways do, we will try to play good foot­ball and we hope to win.” Daily Mail

We will play our 56th game next Wed­nes­day and if you look at the age of the play­ers we have, then it is a re­ally young team who have also played a lot of games. PETER BOSZ Ajax man­ager

EPA PIC

(From left) Hakim Ziyech, Jairo Riede­wald and Ber­trand Traore of Ajax Am­s­ter­dam at a train­ing ses­sion on Thurs­day.

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