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By ESPN Staff
Aug 5, 2008

Van Basten defends 'necessary' Ajax cull

New Ajax coach Marco van Basten has described the decision to drop eight players from his squad as 'difficult but necessary'.

Kenneth Perez, Albert Luque, Jurgen Colin, Laurent Delorge, Kennedy Bakircioglu, Leonardo, George Ogararu and Dennis Rommedahl were all told on Monday they would start the season with the reserves unless they could find another club.

Former Holland coach Van Basten admitted it is not an easy job for any boss.

'It is never fun to bring players such a message,' he told SBS6. 'We don't want to hurt players and we're not angry either.

'It's quite a nuisance for these guys, but alas this is also part of the football world.

'It makes no sense to be on the pitch with 30 players. Reducing the group makes waves, but that is normal.'

Van Basten is trying to rebuild a squad which finished second in the Eredivisie last season and were beaten in the Champions League play-offs by FC Twente.

Oleguer Presas, Miralem Sulejmani, Dario Cvitanich and Ismael Aissati have been brought in by the Amsterdam club this summer and Van Basten is already impressed by the new arrivals.

'Oleguer has made a confident impression during games,' said the coach.

'Sulejmani works hard and is becoming physically stronger and he is of course a guy with many possibilities.

'Cvitanich is also doing an excellent job, with him you can do a lot up front while Aissati brings a great deal to the team.'

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