Erik ten Hag hits out as Ajax lose KNVB Cup final

Erik ten Hag’s Ajax tasted defeat in the KNVB Cup final and the Manchester United bound manager was not happy.

The Dutchman felt his side were the better team and that decisions went against Ajax.

Ajax had a goal disallowed in each half and lost the game 2-1, having led 1-0 at half-time.

It’s never nice to miss out on a trophy, and for Ajax it hurt to lose to fierce competitors PSV Eindhoven.

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Ten Hag responds to defeat

Ten Hag had his say after the game, speaking to Dutch reporters. He said that as well as the officials, Ajax had themselves to blame too.

He told Voetball International: “There should have been only one team with the cup, that is Ajax. 

“We do that to ourselves, we make two very big mistakes. While we had said to each other that you have to stay one hundred percent focused.

“You have to defend much better, you can never let Gakpo come in, that’s where his qualities lie. There are two people standing by, you have to keep him on the left.”

He admitted that it simply wasn’t Ajax’s day, commenting on another effort his side had which hit the post.

Ten Hag said: “We score a great goal with Klaassen; just offside. And a shot from Tadic on the post. It wasn’t supposed to be, those are the forces and powers in football. It wasn’t easy, but you also have to enforce it yourself.”

Speaking about the officiating, Ten Hag hit out that his side should also have had a penalty: “We played against more than eleven players. Nevertheless, we showed character and we should not have lost this game. But that has happened.”

Up for the fight

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Ten Hag’s Ajax can still win the league. They are five points clear of PSV Eindhoven with five games to go.

He was asked if the cup final defeat would affect the Eredivisie title race, and was adamant it would not, responding: “No, because like I said, my team has character. We also showed that today. 

“Despite all the setbacks we’ve had, we coped well with them. We couldn’t force it today, we will do that in the next games. 

“If I see my team play football like this in the first half against a very good team like PSV, then we don’t have to worry. But we have to play five finals, we have to realize that. We make mistakes ourselves and they are punished.”

The Telegraph report Ten Hag has agreed a contract to become Manchester United manager, but this was not the day for the manager to discuss his future. He has a job to finish at Ajax and will be more determined than ever to win the league for a third time before he departs.

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