Erik ten Hag reckons Ajax are underdogs against ‘amazing’ Spurs

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - FEBRUARY 12: Erik Ten Hag, Manager of Ajax talks to players during an Ajax training session at Sportpark De Toekomst Johan Cruyff Arena on February 12, 2019 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Ajax manager Erik ten Hag conceded “amazing” Tottenham will be favourites to win their Champions League semi-final tie.

The Dutch side have defied all expectations on them in the Champions League to reach the last-four stage for the first time since 1997.

While on route to the semi-finals, Ajax stunned just about everybody by eliminating cup holders Real Madrid and Juventus following stunning victories in their own backyards.

With a first Champions League title in 24 years very much up for grabs, Ajax will now pit themselves against Spurs next month for a spot in June’s final at Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano.

But Mauricio Pochettino’s side are no pushovers themselves after eliminating German giants Borussia Dortmund easily before upsetting the odds by knocking out Manchester City in the quarter-finals.

“First of all, being in the semi-finals of the Champions League is a massive achievement,” said Ten Hag, according to Goal.

“You know that you will face a wonderful opponent. Spurs is again a fantastic challenge for us, they are amazing.

Naby Keita could return for Liverpool’s Champions League final 

Liverpool could be set to welcome back Naby Keita in time for next month's Champions League final against Tottenham.

“If you look at Ajax, or any Dutch team, looking at the financial aspects, we are always the underdog. But sometimes the underdog wins.

“We were the underdog against Madrid and Juventus. But we were self-conscious and we knew we would have chances.

“But then we have to be at our top level. So we are responsible for our own actions and partially the results. So if we play well, we can beat them.”

The first leg of Ajax’s semi-final tie against Spurs will take place at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on April 30. The two sides will then meet a week later in Amsterdam for the return fixture.

However, Ten Hag’s side must now turn their focus back to domestic matters with a trip to Groningen coming up this evening.

Ajax currently lead the Eredivisie on goal difference from PSV Eindhoven as they look to end a five-year wait for a league title in the Netherlands.

MADRID, SPAIN – MARCH 05: Erik Ten Hag, Manager of Ajax (3L), Matthijs de Ligt (3R) Frenkie de Jong (2R) and Dani de Wit (R) look on prior to the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Real Madrid and Ajax at Bernabeu on March 05, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here