Versleijan ready for Ajax challenge

Versleijen is the third coach to take charge at Ajax this season, after Maarten Stekelenburg and most recently Jan Pruijn were released from their duties.

The former Australian Under-20 coach says it is clear things are not going well for the club, but he hopes he will be able to turn things around.   

“I’m the third coach this season – that shows things are not going well,” he tells KickOff.com.

“However, the good thing is that I might be two weeks on the job but I have been here for two months already. I had time to analyse the game, time to analyse the players so now I don’t think I need the time for the players to know me, and the other way around.

“The players already know me, so that’s the biggest advantage I have now. So since I took over I have been working on the details on how to play and what to do when we have the ball and also what to do when defending. That job is not finished but it’s a good base to start on and will help, starting from Wednesday.”

With three months left before the end of the season, Versleijen says the first four matches now will be vital if the team is to avoid relegation. Ajax, who are currently third from bottom on the log, take on Moroka Swallows at home on Wednesday.

“We have to get results and in the coming 10 days we are playing four games, and that will decide a lot about the rest of the season. We have three months left so we don’t have a lot of time.” 

The coach says he is very happy with the three signings Ajax made during the transfer window, bringing in Lance Davids, Mabhuti Khenyeza and Abia Nale, who is on loan from Kaizer Chiefs for the rest of the season.

“Khenyeza has already got history with Ajax and he’s a goal scorer. With Lance he brings a lot of experience and also a good mentality to the team, he has a high work-rate and I expect a lot from him. He needs a bit of time to get back to full fitness because he didn’t feature a lot in Belgium.

“Nale is very skillful and we have to make him aware of his quality and how it fits best for Ajax,” the coach concludes.

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