José Mourinho had words of praise for some of his Real Madrid CF youngsters after the Merengues' home win against AFC Ajax, whose coach was "very angry at half-time".
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José Mourinho, Real Madrid coach
Nacho played because [Álvaro] Arbeloa was banned. Nacho is a first-team player, he has our confidence. He gave a very committed performance, as always, and there were no defensive errors on either the right or left side.
We love José Rodríguez. He has qualities that we like, is only 17 and has shown a lot of progression. [Álvaro] Morata is a first-team player as well, but Karim [Benzema] and [Gonzalo] Higuaín are ahead of him. Every minute played is wonderful for him. It was a shame that [Denis] Cherysev did not get on. [José] Callejón is an example for others because he always plays well.
We have to respect everyone. We did not finish first and so we will play tough opponents. We have to work and will see in February. When I arrived at Madrid we were not a seeded team. Now we've lost only one match in 18, last year we broke the record for points in the group stage and in this year's group of death we finished second. We wanted to be first but it was not possible.
Frank de Boer, Ajax coach
I was very angry at half-time. There were nine players who did not reach their reach their usual standards − only Danny Hoesen and Kenneth Vermeer did. I'm disappointed about that and then you are lucky you are only 2-0 behind.
At half-time we spoke about showing more guts. We got a consolation goal and with a bit of luck could have got a second. The second half was a lot better than the first, but in these games you are expected to reach your usual level.
We can be proud of the fact that we finished third and will continue playing in the Europa League. Many people did not expect us to achieve that at the start. The Europa League final will be played in the Amsterdam ArenA and on my birthday as well [15 May]. What more could I wish for?