AZ managed to secure a group win in the Conference League with a difficult draw on Thursday evening. After the game against Jablonec (1-1), Fresia Cousiño Arias asked Pascal Jansen whether the Alkmaarders, given the twelfth place in the Eredivisie, ‘can be happy with anything at all’. “I think that in itself is a bizarre question from you”, was the reaction of the somewhat surprised AZ trainer.
Cousiño explained what she meant by that. “It’s difficult, because you do see the negativity in the group,” said the reporter of ESPN. “You can see that the joy and frivolity that you normally see in some guys is missing a bit.” Jansen then stated that this should not be underestimated. “The boys know that they can do better and they also want to do better, but it is now a priority that you hibernate,” said the coach. “That is definitely number one priority, and it has been achieved. Given how we are doing, I can imagine that the mood is a bit depressed, because it is not the frivolous game we were used to. But that does not make the winter any less important. “
In ‘s studio ESPN went on about Cousiño’s interview with Jansen. Jan Joost van Gangelen established that AZ is in a ‘bruise pool’ in the Conference League, which includes CFR Cluj and Randers in addition to Jablonec. However, Kenneth Perez understood that Jansen is sticking to the hibernation, and that the game shown does not matter too much. “It’s important because they’re already not doing well in the competition and maybe you can get a little bit of momentum in it,” said Perez. “It may not be the sexiest tournament (the Conference League, ed.), but you have to do it for a while. You have to gain the experience and you hope that it will also bring something in the competition.”
“Because twelfth in the Eredivisie, with the ambitions of AZ, is of course …”, says Perez, who does not finish that sentence. “The problem is also a bit: people are not really impressed that they are only twelfth. There is not really a crisis. I think that also hurts the leadership, because of course they want to be taken seriously. like a top club.”