Struggling Dutch giants Ajax sack coach Schreuder
Alfred Schreuder

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AFP) -- Ajax Amsterdam on Thursday took the "painful but necessary decision" to sack coach Alfred Schreuder after a 1-1 home draw with relegation-threatened Volendam in the Dutch league.

The result left the defending champions in fifth place in the table, seven points behind leaders and bitter rivals Feyenoord.

"This is a painful decision, but it's necessary. Regardless of the good start to the season, we lost a lot of unnecessary points," Ajax chief executive Edwin van der Sar told the club's website.

"The football itself was precarious too. We gave Alfred our time and trust to change the way things were going.

"It became clear to us that he could not change the tide."

Ajax have not won in the league since October 22 and were knocked out of the Champions League in the group stage.

Schreuder joined Ajax from Club Brugge last summer to replace Erik ten Hag who was hired by Manchester United.

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