De Boer ready for action
Ajax interim boss Frank de Boer is relishing the chance to take over at such an important stage of the season. De Boer will oversee first-team affairs until the winter break and possibly longer while the club seek a permanent successor to Martin Jol, who resigned last night.
Speaking at Schipol Airport before flying out for the Amsterdammers' UEFA Champions League clash with AC Milan tomorrow night, former Holland defender De Boer told Ajax TV: "I am tense as it is an important period for Ajax.
"Up to Christmas, we need to make sure we stay in Europe over the winter and we have the next round of the KNVB Beker (against AZ Alkmaar on 23 December). And obviously we can't allow the gap in the Eredivisie to get any larger."
Ajax are five points adrift of leaders PSV Eindhoven and FC Twente while their continued presence in Europe depends on this week's final matches in Group G. Ajax go into their clash with Milan in third, a point ahead of Auxerre.
They are out of contention for a top-two finish but if they can stay ahead of the Ligue 1 side, who visit Real Madrid tomorrow, they will guarantee themselves a spot in the UEFA Europa League.
Ajax goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg was stunned by Jol's departure but pleased with the "logical choice" of De Boer. He said: "I was surprised by the resignation of Martin Jol, especially as it came just after we trained yesterday."