De Boer fires warning at City

Ajax boss Frank de Boer Photo: PA Images

Ajax coach Frank de Boer has warned Manchester City that his side want three points from Tuesday's Champions League encounter just as much as them.

The Dutch side's 3-1 defeat of City in Amsterdam a fortnight ago has left the English champions with just one point from three Group D games and needing to win their rematch at the Etihad Stadium.

With the home crowd behind them and a must-win attitude necessary, City have been made favourites for the match but De Boer is taking no notice of that.

Ajax have their own ambitions of making progress and, after getting their campaign off the mark at City's expense, now hope to stun Roberto Mancini's men again.

De Boer said: "We want to be in the Champions League after the winter break as well.

"All the teams in this group do, and of course they want to have the nine points out of the three coming matches.

"We will give it a go to try to get a result here. Some of these teams will lose points and we will know who at the end of the match."

City might need to throw caution to the wind but De Boer has no intention of telling his side to sit back to soak up pressure.

The former Holland defender said: "We are not going to throw it open but it is not our way to play defensively.

"We want to show the way we play at Ajax, whether it is at home or away."

Ajax go into the game on the back of a 2-0 loss to Vitesse Arnhem, their first domestic loss of the season, but De Boer will remind them of how they approached the last City contest.

Having lost their opening two matches against Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid in the competition's toughest group, De Boer knew the task as City visited was a daunting one.

De Boer said: "I said before the game that if we played our own game we could make it very difficult for anybody.

"If they were in good shape and were in good shape, maybe we could lose but there would be small margins and we could also win. Then the coin would be on our side.

"We really had to believe and I think we did that."

De Boer took a similar approach when his side faced Manchester United at Old Trafford in the Europa League last season and was rewarded with a 2-1 win, although his side lost the tie overall.

He said: "We showed it last year against Manchester United.

"I think this group of players have already proved they can do it and I am not worried whether they really believe it.

"I want to see players who play bravely with their own qualities and maybe better.

"That makes you a better player if you can play your best under the highest pressure. A lot of players will have that tomorrow."