Draw will do but Ajax want to beat Spurs, says coach Erik ten Hag, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Draw will do but Ajax want to beat Spurs, says coach Erik ten Hag

A fully fit Ajax Amsterdam will focus on their attacking strengths to go for the win in their Champions League semi-final, second leg against Tottenham Hotspur tomorrow morning (Singapore time), despite a goalless draw being enough to take them to the final, coach Erik ten Hag said yesterday.

"We need to win this match tomorrow, that will be our mindset. We have to stick to our own strengths," ten Hag said at the pre-match press conference.

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

But the Dutch team, who feature several players from 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 eager."

Donny van de Beek, the match-winner in the first leg, also concurred with his coach's sentiment that Ajax have to play to their strengths and showcase what they are capable of.

"We have to stay focused like we have before, stay calm and play our own game," van de Beek told the club website.

"In the first leg, we played too many long balls. That is not our game and our quality," he added. Ajax were unable to show the Total Football concept that has seen them score 165 goals in all competitions this season.

"The focus should be on what we are good at. We should not think too much and the stadium will be behind us.

"We have shown that we can beat anyone. We saw it against Real, against Bayern Munich in the group stage that we can make difficult for any one."

Ten Hag said his team had no injuries following Sunday's Dutch Cup triumph over Willem II, although it was not yet clear whether David Neres could start the match. - REUTERS