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Poulsen eyes European final

Ajax midfielder Christian Poulsen said he likes his side’s chances of reaching the Europa League final.

Ajax midfielder Christian Poulsen said he likes his side’s chances of reaching the Europa League final.

The Eredivisie side were drawn in the Champions League’s so-called ‘group of death’ at the start of the season, but an impressive third-placed finish ensured Europa League football.

And ahead of their last-32 first leg with Steaua Bucharest, Poulsen is eyeing off a spot in the final of the second-tier tournament in Europe.

“Everybody thought that we wouldn’t stand a chance in a group with Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City,” he told De Telegraaf.

“But we held our own in a group with the champions from Spain, Germany and England.

“Third place was the maximum result for us. We had three poor games after good outings against Manchester City and away versus Dortmund. We have to take the positives from our Champions League campaign and use them in the Europa League.

“The final? Why not? If you can beat Manchester City, then Steaua Bucharest and potentially Chelsea pose nice challenges as well.”

Poulsen was also quick to dispel any talk of his Ajax side being too young to succeed, explaining that they have plenty of experience at the top level.

“It doesn’t say anything that we have a young team. Eriksen is only 20, but has already over 30 caps, played a World Cup and won two Eredivisie titles.

“And Kenneth Vermeer, Toby Alderweireld, Niklas Moisander and Siem de Jong are experienced players, too.”
Thu 14 February, 2013
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