Kudus and Rensch deployable again at Ajax in cup final? Make a decision tomorrow
Ajax may be able to have Mohammed Kudus and Devyne Rensch back in the cup final against PSV, Sunday at De Kuip. “They trained again today for a part,” coach John Heitinga told me.
“Now we have to wait for the reaction and tomorrow we can decide,” Heitinga said. Striker Kudus suffered a hamstring injury in the semifinal against Feyenoord in early April. Defender Rensch has been out of action since mid-March due to an upper leg injury.
Ajax will be missing Kenneth Taylor in midfield on Sunday. He is suspended after his red card in the semifinal against Feyenoord. Edson Álvarez, on the other hand, returns from a suspension. Without the Mexican, the Amsterdammers went down hard against PSV in the Eredivisie on Saturday (3-0).
That defeat still worked through in Amsterdam this week. “There was training with fire, there were a lot of tough duels,” captain Dusan Tadic told reporters. “We need that too.”
Five views back
Heitinga said he had looked back at the first quarter of Sunday’s lost topper no less than five times. “We were indeed not sharp. As a result, PSV often came in success moments“, the Ajax coach said.
“In the first 15 minutes, PSV already got three corners and they were able to get into our sixteen a few times from the switch. That was because we made simple mistakes.”
On Sunday, Heitinga hopes to see more fight from his team. “You have to have an over my head mentality, want to prevent goals at all costs,” he said.
Return of Álvarez
Álvarez’s return is timely in that regard. “He is an important player for us and brings a lot of character and mentality,” Tadic said. “He is strong with his head and good at communication. Edson is one of our leaders, we definitely missed him in the last game.”
Heitinga wants his team to take an example from the semifinal, in which Feyenoord were beaten 1-2 at De Kuip. “We maybe didn’t do that with fantastic soccer. But we fought as a team and that is the most important thing. I want to see a team that fights for 90 minutes. And maybe even longer than 90 minutes.”