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SPORTS

Ajax 'confident, fit and eager' for Spurs match, coach Ten Hag says

FOOTBALL By Reuters | May 8th 2019
Ajax's Kasper Dolberg (centre) and teammates during training on May 7, 2019. [REUTERS]

A fully fit Ajax Amsterdam will focus on its attacking strengths in their Champions League semi-final second leg against Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday despite a goalless draw being enough to take them to the final, coach Erik ten Hag said on Tuesday.

“We need to win this match tomorrow, that will be our mindset”, Ten Hag said in a pre-match press conference. “We have to stick to our own strengths.”

Ajax upset Real Madrid and Juventus on their way to the semi-final with a fast, attacking style of play, and initially dominated Tottenham in their 1-0 away win last week.

But the Dutch team, which features several players polished in the club’s famed academy, struggled in the second half in London as Tottenham increased the pressure on their defence.

“Our minds were a bit too much on defending the lead”, Ten Hag said. “But it was also a show of strength by Spurs. It showed we have to cross another frontier tomorrow. But we are confident we can do it. We are fit and we are eager.”

Ten Hag said his team had no injuries following Sunday’s Cup Final win against Willem II Tilburg, although it was not yet clear whether Brazilian forward David Neres could start the match.

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