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De Boer proud of Ajax effort

Ajax coach Frank de Boer believes finishing third in their Champions League group would be a positive result for his side.

The Dutch side were expected to struggle in Group D alongside the champions of England, Germany and Spain – Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid.

But despite battling in the competition’s toughest group, Ajax have picked up four points so far and can seal a Europa League berth on Wednesday.

“It depends how the game will develop. If you have the feeling ‘we can get three points’ during the second half then you’re going to try to get the three points,” De Boer said.

“But you know also that you are playing against a very strong team.

“When you are at the end and you are still at 1-1 or 0-0 then maybe a draw can be enough because when the result is good at the other stadium then we are 100 percent sure for the third place.

“That’s already a great achievement if you see what kind of group we are in with the three champions of the biggest leagues in the world.”

De Boer identified Dortmund’s Polish striker Robert Lewandowski as the danger man for Wednesday’s clash.

“I think he’s a great striker. He’s very complete as a striker. Technically he’s good, but also physically, he’s very good with his head,” he said.

“So he’s quite complete and that’s why he’s so difficult to defend, you press forward with your team, for example Real Madrid did it also.

“(Dortmund goalkeeper Roman) Weidenfeller gave a long ball to him and he just flicked it to (Marco) Reus and he scored the goal and I think the second goal was also a little bit like that.

“He’s a fantastic striker and he’s very hard to defend, but we have a good defender to mark him.”

Tue 20 Nov, 2012
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