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Schone not fazed by big-game pressure

Ajax midfielder Lasse Schone says his club will not buckle under pressure when they face PSV Eindhoven in Sunday’s crunch Eredivisie match.

The Amsterdam giants lead the Dutch standings by three points with five matches left to play, but Dick Advocaat’s PSV side – despite their shaky form of late – are only a victory away from top spot.

However, the Danish midfielder believes Ajax have already demonstrated they can hold their nerve when the chips are down and is confident they can seal their third straight title.

“The match against PSV is special, of course, but we must only be concerned about ourselves,” Schone told Goal.com.

“No, we don’t have too much confidence. It’s important to stay focused, as we have been the whole season.

“Against Heracles, we stood tall with 10 men. Everyone made up a lot of ground and you could see how big our willingness was to clock up those extra yards.

“That says it all. We have played many games this season and sometimes we’ve played through the pain barrier. Importantly, we’ve kept our wits about us.

“Mentally we must remain strong. We have proven this to the whole league so far, but under pressure we perform the best.”

Schone also gave his assessment of PSV, who have lost two of their last seven league matches amidst criticism of their coach, and urged his team-mates not to underestimate the unpredictable nature of their opponents’ attack.

“PSV are on a downer, not only on the pitch but also off it. That gives us a little advantage on Sunday, but they are just as pumped up as we are. They remain a good team,” he said.

“They will do everything to win, so we must be careful. They have players who can come out of nowhere to decide the outcome of a match.

“We just have to play like we have done the last few weeks and then we’ll hurt PSV. Hopefully the game proceeds as it did in Amsterdam earlier this season (a 3-1 win in December). We played very well on that occasion.”

Sat 13 April, 2013
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