Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Bosz admits Ajax were overawed by Stockholm showpiece

SoccerNews in Eredivisie 24 May 2017


Peter Bosz conceded the occasion got to his young Ajax side as they limped to a disappointing 2-0 Europa League final defeat against Manchester United.

Ajax have drawn plaudits for their free-flowing, vibrant football in Europe’s secondary competition this season, but the showpiece in Stockholm proved a step too far as goals from Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan sent United into next season’s Champions League.

The team named by Bosz was the youngest ever in a major European final and the Ajax coach is sure his squad will learn from the experience.

“Like I said, they’re not used these young kids to play a final, it’s all new for them,” he told a post-match news conference.

“They will learn a lot from it, they will become stronger. If we can keep the squad together we will become stronger for sure.

“It’s difficult to come from behind against a well organised team, the second half we were barely out of the dressing room.

“We were not good enough, we didn’t have a lot of chances.”

The match was played just two days after Monday’s atrocities in Manchester in which 22 people were killed and 59 injured as a result of an attack by a suicide bomber following an Ariana Grande concert.

And Bosz believes the emotion of the occasion affected both teams.

“Of course I think so, we talked about it,” he added. “In the media there was a lot going on also.

“Obviously both sides were affected, but once you play the final I think from that moment you forget it, you have to play.”


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