Champions League news

Lennon: 'Pressure' is on Ajax

November 5, 2013
By ESPN staff

Celtic manager Neil Lennon said all the ‘pressure’ was on Ajax heading into Wednesday’s Champions League clash in Amsterdam.

SPL
PA PhotosNeil Lennon believes Ajax are under 'pressure' heading into their Champion League match.

Ajax have failed to live up their history as past champions, propping up Group H after recording a solitary draw in three games.

Meanwhile, Celtic, a past European champion themselves, can put them into a strong position should they return to Parkhead with some form of a result at the Amsterdam Arena.

“It is a pressure game for Ajax,” said Lennon. “We can come here and, not be relaxed, but have a real go at the game.

“If we are to progress we have to pick something up away but we don't need to win.

“If we can get a point and beat Milan at home that gives us seven points and gives us a real chance of qualifying.

“I think it was important that we got some points on the board against Ajax in the last game.

“But we are under no illusions as to how difficult this will be.

“Ajax were very unfortunate not to beat Milan here in match day two.

“I think the Champions League inspires players and gets the best out of them.

“I hope that is the case for our players tonight.”

However, Ajax boss Frank de Boer is confident his side can turn the tables of the reigning Scottish champions after suffering a 2-1 defeat in the reverse fixture.

“If you look at that match we had chances and a lot of good moments,” he said. “Celtic didn't create any chances but scored twice and won the game.

“Celtic can be confident, they have had some good results in the last year, (beating) Barcelona for example, so they can be confident.

“But I saw good things from my side so I also have confidence in my team that we can get three points here and then we are one point ahead (of Celtic).

“It is a crucial game for us. For them, a draw is maybe enough so they can wait more than they did in Glasgow.

“We have to force the game but we are in good shape to create chances and get the three points.”

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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