Ten Hag says Ajax have no unfair advantage over Tottenham after fixture switch

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Dutch coach doesn't think the Eredivisie delaying his teams games gives them a leg up in semi-final with Tottenham

Ajax coach Erik ten Hag has struck out at Spurs for complaining about his team having an unfair advantage ahead of their Champions League semi-final.

Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino has said he thinks it’s unfair that Dutch football authorities have postponed Eredivisie games to help Ajax prepare for the crunch encounter.

Ten Hag rubbished those claims and pointed out the vast income disparities between the two clubs.

“We get €10m (£8.7m/$11.2m) for playing in the Eredivisie and they get many more millions for playing in the Premier League. Is that not unfair on us?” Ten Hag said at a press conference.

“There are always differing circumstances. You just have to deal with them.

Ten Hag’s team had to qualify for the Champions League, with their campaign kicking off in July, a long season for his inexperienced squad.

The 49-year-old said that their youth was no excuse and revealed the Amsterdam club had targeted Premier League players, specifically Dusan Tadic and Daley Blind to add experience to the team.

”They [the young players] have really matured, certainly in the last couple of years thanks to the number of matches they've played – in the Netherlands team and at a European level.

"That will really strengthen them in their development. The team has really come together.

"We prepare our team thoroughly, on the basis of our own strengths. We need to have respect for the opposition – we take that into every match. That is how we do our work.

 

"We want to be confident on the pitch, but we can't be naive. We have lots of matches under our belt.

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"From analysis last season we had maybe a lack of experience. We looked on purpose at the Premier League, [Daley] Blind and [Dusan] Tadic. They had to bring it to our squad and that's what they did.

"I don't have [superstitions]. I believe in my team, the players on the pitch and the plan we have gone through together. They can make their own independent decisions if something changes on the pitch.

"We have achieved something, but we want to do more. We don't want to rest on our laurels. The team is good. We are very fit, very eager and very fresh. We can certainly perform at our best, we know that."

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