Martinez: ‘Ajax must attack’

Defender Lisandro Martinez said Ajax can’t give Edin Dzeko, Lorenzo Pellegrini and Pedro any space on Thursday. ‘They know how to hurt you’.

Ajax travel to Rome for the return leg in the quarter-finals of the Europa League and must turn around a 2-1 defeat to the Giallorossi from Amsterdam.

“It’s a pity, we attacked throughout the game,” Martinez told Calciomercato.it. “In the first half we lost to many balls and they caught us off guard, but we only made two real mistakes and paid dearly for them.

“In any case, I want to think about the positive side of the performance: the team constantly attacked and created many opportunities, but we failed to materialise.

“The penalty would have changed everything but getting it wrong is part of the game. We have to learn that in these matches you can’t waste opportunities, nor make mistakes.”

Martinez doesn’t expect a different approach during the return leg in the Italian capital.

“Our identity is that, it won’t change,” he continued. “We will attack, we need to win to reach the semi-finals.

“We will try to be solid in defence.”

The 23-year-old has played five games in the Champions League and five times in the Europa League this term, and he admitted the Roma attackers are dangerous.

“They have several players that are very strong,” he said. “Dzeko, Pellegrini and Pedro are players of great value.

“If you give them space, they know how to hurt you.”

The Argentine has been linked with a move to Serie A in the past and admitted he’s flattered by the interest.

“I try to enjoy the present, to continue to learn and work in one of the biggest clubs in Europe,” he said about the rumours.

“That said, any footballer would love to play in the most competitive leagues in the world. Serie A is undoubtedly one of them.”

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