Europa League final has lost the ‘glow it should have’

Ajax coach Peter Bosz: ‘We at Ajax would like to express sympathy with the victims’

 Ajax players hold a minute of silence to pay tribute to the victims of the Manchester terror attack. Photograph: PA

Ajax players hold a minute of silence to pay tribute to the victims of the Manchester terror attack. Photograph: PA

 

Ajax coach Peter Bosz says the Europa League final has lost its “glow” after Monday’s bombing in Manchester.

Manchester United did not hold a pre-match press conference on Tuesday in the wake of the attack that rocked their city.

An explosion at the end of a concert by pop star Ariana Grande at Manchester Arena on Monday evening killed 22 people and injured many more.

Ajax boss Bosz joined those expressing sympathy, shock and solidarity, with the atrocity taking the edge off the club’s first major final in 21 years.

“What happened in Manchester is something that we all feel at Ajax,” he said ahead of Wednesday’s match.

“On behalf of the players and the staff, we at Ajax would like to express sympathy with the victims who unfortunately fell yesterday.

“The feeling that prevails is that the final doesn’t have the glow it should have.

“Tomorrow evening should be a football feast, but because of events in Manchester we’re all affected, particularly as we’re playing against Manchester.

“It’s horrible. My heartfelt sympathies.”

Stockholm finale offers Ajax the chance to win their first major continental trophy since 1995

Bosz has spoken to his players about an incident that has hit home with many of the Ajax players, given their wives and children recently went to see American pop star Grande in Amsterdam.

Asked if the final should have been postponed, he said: “That’s not up to us. I’m just a coach. Other people have to decide that. I’m here for the game.

“It’s terrible what happened there. I tried to express that. But it’s for other people to decide about that.”

The Stockholm finale offers Ajax the chance to win their first major continental trophy since 1995 and, in keeping with their traditions, a young, attack-minded side is charged with securing a famous win.

“Of course we got to a final with a certain way of playing, which is our forte,” Bosz said. “We try not to change what we did before.

“The opposition can of course force you to play a different kind of football. With your team you discuss all the scenarios.

“It all depends how strong we are. If we can play as strongly as we can, we’ll show this way of playing to Manchester.

“I think we only have a chance to beat Manchester if we play our own game.

“We have our own way of playing developed this season, which I always call the Ajax way of playing. So tomorrow, if we can play our way, we have a chance.”

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