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Cautious Evans warns against complacency

Published: Friday 17 February 2012, 6.58CET
Manchester United FC may be favourites to progress from the round of 32 after a 2-0 first-leg success at AFC Ajax but central defender Jonny Evans is adamant the tie is far from over.
by Derek Brookman
from Amsterdam ArenA

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Published: Friday 17 February 2012, 6.58CET

Cautious Evans warns against complacency

Manchester United FC may be favourites to progress from the round of 32 after a 2-0 first-leg success at AFC Ajax but central defender Jonny Evans is adamant the tie is far from over.

His side may be clear favourites to reach the UEFA Europa League round of 16 following their 2-0 victory in Amsterdam, but Manchester United FC defender Jonny Evans is preaching caution, stating that no team in European competition is safe over two legs. Despite the result, AFC Ajax defender Dico Koppers described his European debut as a "dream that became reality".

Jonny Evans, Manchester United defender
We probably didn't play as well as we would have liked, but it was Ajax's home game. They play a bit like Barcelona, they're a very open team and like to play it from the back. We were maybe too open ourselves, some of us were pressing and some weren't, but we had a better shape [in the second half].

I don't think anybody's safe in Europe. In the Champions League, even in our home games, we didn't manage to get the right results, so we'll be looking to keep it tight when we go back to Old Trafford and maybe stamp our authority on the game more.

Dico Koppers, Ajax defender
This was my first European match ever, a dream that became reality. I only heard this afternoon I would be playing. I was obviously a bit nervous beforehand yet tried not to let it show on the pitch and I think I succeeded. I was happy with my performance, though of course not with the result.

I was up against Nani a lot, who's a top player, but particularly before the break I felt I did OK. We could have probably got more out of the game, especially at the end of the first half. In the second half we were sloppier and they are very experienced, and knew how to control the match at 1-0.

Toby Alderweireld, Ajax defender
We did well in the first half, didn't give too much away, and even created a couple of chances. Unfortunately we didn't take them, and when you play a team like Manchester United you get punished on the counter. They're extremely dangerous in such situations. Playing against someone like Javier Hernández, who's always right on the edge of being offside, is very difficult. That's the level of performance we want to reach. On a night like this you can learn a lot – and you shouldn't forget to enjoy yourself either.

Last updated: 27/11/12 6.01CET

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