Ajax Amsterdam head coach Erik Ten Hag was pleased with Morocco international Hakim Ziyech’s performance against Austrian side Sturm Graz.
Ziyech opened the scoring as Ajax brushed aside Sturm Graz 2-0 in the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League second round qualifying first-leg match at the Amsterdam Arena on Wednesday.
“I enjoyed watching Hakim. He played a flawless match and made a big difference on many fronts,” Ten Hag told the club’s official website.
“We stuck to our plan and I saw a real team. In addition to that, several of the individual performances pleased me, but it wasn’t enough.
The second-leg encounter is set to be played at the UPC Stadium in Switzerland next week Wednesday.
“2-0 isn’t enough, actually. We created so many opportunities, and we should have been more effective. It’s still a fight, and they still have a chance. I can’t deny that we are in a good position, but we need to remain vigilant,” he added.
Ten Hag sees room for improvement with his team, which he feels is logical so early in the season.
“We’ve only had a complete selection for 2 days, and we’re not in top shape yet. Moreover, we need to work on our mode of playing. But I’ve definitely seen a good starting point,” he said.
The coach brought in recent acquisitions – Daley Blind and Dusan Tadic – as substitutes and saw that their entry brought excitement to the Amesterdam Arena.
“It’s so nice that the crowd embraced them right away, the atmosphere was amazing. For Daley it’s like returning home, the prodigal son,” he said.
“It’s great to see how he was received. The same goes for Dusan, who immediately had a spot in the crowd’s heart.”