Ajax boss Peter Bosz says he feels 'no pressure' ahead of Man United clash
AMSTERDAM -- Ajax manager Peter Bosz says he is confident his team can trouble Manchester United in next Wednesday's Europa League final by concentrating on their own game, rather than worrying about what Jose Mourinho might have planned.
"I feel no pressure," Bosz told a news conference at the Amsterdam ArenA on Thursday. "Everyone dreams of these games, so there's no pressure, just a big opportunity."
Mourinho has complained about United having to play 64 matches this season, but Bosz feels his young squad -- which has an average age of 22 -- are entitled to feel just as fatigued
"We will play our 56th game next Wednesday," he said. "If you look at our age, we have a really young team that has played a lot of games. We trained with 24 players today, with no one injured so instead of looking at United, I look at my team. We are fit and fresh and that's a great way to prepare the team for next Wednesday."
Mourinho's record in major finals -- winning 11 from 13 played -- does not daunt Bosz either,
"I never look at coaches from other teams," he added. "I'm only looking at them to analyse where we can win something. I always look at my team, our strength and how we can beat opponents. It's by looking at us not them.
"They have a bigger budget for sure, and if they feel pressure because of that, then okay. We like to play good football and hope to win."
Four-time European champions Ajax are in their first European final since 1996, when Mourinho's predecessor at United, Louis van Gaal, led the side to defeat against Juventus on penalties in the Champions League.
However, the last Dutch club to reach a final in Europe was Feyenoord when winning the UEFA Cup in 2002 and Bosz said his team will have the whole nation on their side next week.
"Many people thought it would not be possible for a Dutch team to reach a final," he said. "I believe it's important that we are there again because the financial difference between clubs in Europe and Dutch clubs is big, but we have managed it.
"Everyone in Holland is proud, not just Ajax fans because it's good for Dutch football."
Bosz also paid tribute to Ajax legend Johan Cruyff who died last year, and said his philosophy is to follow the traditions of the Dutch master, the star of Ajax's trio of European Cups from 1971-1973.
"I'm inspired by his vision, the way he looked at football," he said. "I lived in the 1970s when he played football and I'm influenced by his thinking and that of others. It's important for Dutch football that he's remembered for being founder of this way of playing."
John Brewin is a staff writer for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @JohnBrewinESPN.