De Boer thinking positive as Milan visit
Monday, September 30, 2013
Frank de Boer is aware of the quality in AC Milan's ranks but wants his AFC Ajax players to "play our own game" as they bid to get their Group H campaign back on track.
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After seeing his AFC Ajax side succumb to a Lionel Messi hat-trick at FC Barcelona on matchday one, Frank de Boer will urge his players to stay positive and "play our own game" when AC Milan visit in UEFA Champions League Group H on Tuesday. While the hosts were overwhelmed 4-0 a fortnight ago, Milan edged out Celtic FC 2-0 at San Siro and will have to be at their best to repeat that success according to Massimiliano Allegri.
Frank de Boer, coach
Milan have three very strong forwards and a good midfield. The most important thing is that we try to get three points. The next three matches are crucial. Messi is a player that can decide a match and Balotelli is the same. Balotelli is a fantastic player and with him are other players who can make a difference. However, I'm positive that if we remain focused for 90 minutes we can pick up a decent result.
We will go into the match with a positive attitude. We don't have a team that can sit back and play on the counter. The most important thing is that we play our own game. You don't expect to get points at Camp Nou, our best chances will come at home.
Saturday: Ajax 6-0 Go Ahead Eagles (Van der Linden og 48, De Sa 50, Sigthórsson 52 53, Duarte 64, De Jong 69)
Cillessen; Van Rhijn, Moisander, Denswil, Boilesen; De Jong, Poulsen, Duarte; De Sa (Andersen 70), Bojan (Sigthórsson 5) (Klaassen 64), Fischer.
• Ajax only sparked into life after the break but Jop van der Linden's own goal opening the floodgates as the Amsterdam outfit climbed up to fifth place.
Bojan Krkić is out after suffering a hamstring injury five minutes into Saturday's match.
Massimiliano Allegri, coach
There are no easy games in Europe. Ajax play good football, so we must be careful. They are good at recovering the ball, so we must be at our best to win. Should we win, we stand a good chance of qualifying for the next round and can be more relaxed for the Barcelona games which will be very tough.
We have analysed Ajax closely, and Urby Emanuelson and Nigel de Jong have helped with that. We must approach the game with a focused attitude.
Saturday: Milan 1-0 UC Sampdoria (Birsa 46)
Abbiati; Zaccardo, Zapata, Mexès, Constant; Poli (Nocerino 75), De Jong, Muntari (Emanuelson 46); Birsa (Niang 67); Robinho, Matri.
• Valter Birsa's first goal for the Rossoneri sealed their second Serie A win of the season. Balotelli served the second game of his three-match domestic suspension, while Christian Abbiati made his 331st appearance, a record for a Milan goalkeeper.
Riccardo Montolivo has been passed fit but Stephan El Shaarawy is out after breaking his foot in training. Daniele Bonera, Giampaolo Pazzini, Mattia De Sciglio, Matías Silvestre, Kaká and Riccardo Saponara all remain sidelined, meanwhile.
• Frank de Boer played in Ajax's 1995 UEFA Champions League final triumph against Milan and also had his debut as the club's caretaker boss against the Rossoneri.