Football: I'll Get Dick to Help Us KO Celts; SAYS AJAX BOSS CO ADRIAANSE

Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland), July 29, 2001 | Go to article overview

Football: I'll Get Dick to Help Us KO Celts; SAYS AJAX BOSS CO ADRIAANSE


Byline: EUAN McLEAN EXCLUSIVE

SNEAKY Ajax boss Co Adriaanse wants RANGERS to help him scupper Celtic's Champions League dream.

Amsterdam coach Co wants to set up a meeting with pal Dick Advocaat to get the lowdown on the Hoops before their Champions League qualifying crunch next week.

Adriaanse has known Advocaat and No.2 Bert van Lingen for years and used to be Bert Konterman's manager at Willem II.

Now he has vowed to get all three to dish the dirt on their arch-rivals as Adriaanse tries to find chinks in Celts' armour.

He said: "I tried to contact Dick this week but the team was away in Slovenia playing Maribor so I missed him.

"But I will be in touch to ask him for information about Celtic as I try to find weaknesses I can exploit.

"I know Dick well from when he was the national coach and I was manager of Haarlem.

"I am friendly with Bert van Lingen and also know Bert Konterman particularly well - he was my player at Willem II before he went to Feyenoord.

"He's an intelligent player so I would value his opinion on Celtic.

"I believe Celtic is the strongest team we could have met.

"I watched them play against Sunderland this week and I was a little surprised by their formation.

"But it is a flexible system, although every team has weaknesses that can be exploited."

Meanwhile, central defender Patri Pasanen is planning to use his friendship with Hearts star Antti Niemi in the same way as his boss.

The pair have become good friends playing together for the national team and Niemi can expect a phone call in the next seven days.

But Pasanen reckons he already knows what Niemi is going to say - watch Henrik Larsson.

He said: "Antti is a good lad and he'll know a lot about Celtic after playing in Scotland for so long. It wouldn't do any harm to pick his brains so I'll be on the phone soon.

"I haven't seen Celtic play much but everyone knows Henrik Larsson is the biggest danger.

"If you score 53 goals in any top league you have to be a great player. He beat Mateja Kezman of PSV to win the Golden Shoe for Europe's top scorer. Having seen a lot of him, I know how much it says about Larsson's talent.

"But while everyone concentrates on Larsson, there are other quality players in that team and goal threats will come from all over the pitch.

"They are a physically strong Scottish side but there is some European quality in them. I have no doubt they will be a tough test.

"We are a young team but if we go into this game thinking we can't win, we won't."

However, boss Co Adriaanse would do well to ask Advocaat about more than just Celtic when he contacts his fellow Dutchman this week.

Because the pair have more in common than he realises.

Both are setting their sights on dismantling Celtic this season and to achieve that both men must first rebuild their own dressing rooms.

While the feuding Ibrox team's spirit crumbled during last season's trophyless failure, the Ajax squad was imploding in a similar dressing room crisis. …

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