Heitinga hopes for ‘spectacle’ at PSV-Ajax: ‘Bassey replaces Álvarez’

Heitinga hopes for ‘spectacle’ at PSV-Ajax: ‘Bassey replaces Álvarez’

NOS Football

Heitinga expects fine battle Sunday against PSV: ‘Hopefully spectacle piece’

That Ajax’s deficit is probably too big to win the national title this season, John Heitinga has come to terms with that. But there is still something very important to fight for: a Champions League ticket.

“The reality is just that we have a big deficit,” the Ajax coach said of the eight-point gap with leaders Feyenoord. “The reality is that you are fighting for second place.”

“You want to play Champions League next season. That also applies to PSV, of course,” Heitinga knows. “So it will hopefully be a spectacle Sunday.”

Ajax and PSV are both on 62 points with five matches to go in the premier league. Because of a better goal difference, the Amsterdammers are one spot higher in the rankings than the Eindhoveners.

Heitinga expresses confidence in Bassey: ‘Not so complicated for me’

In any case, Heitinga knows exactly what needs to be done to stop PSV in Eindhoven on Sunday. “We saw in the match for the Johan Cruijff Schaal where their strength lies,” the former international said at the press conference. “Especially with crosses from the flanks and in standard situations. We have to make sure we keep them out of our sixteen.”

He acknowledges that Ajax does not have the longest defenders, especially now that Edson Álvarez is absent due to a suspension. “We might be a little smaller, but we just have to make sure they can’t deliver those crosses. Or we have to make sure we have an extra man.”

Base spot Bassey

The Ajax head coach also makes no secret of the starting place of Calvin Bassey, who will replace Álvarez. “For me, it’s not that complicated,” Heitinga is open about his plans for Sunday. “Calvin is a studious boy. You guys don’t see that. You only see snapshots in the stadium. I see how he is working every day to get better.”

“He has qualities that others don’t have,” Heitinga continued. “We have to make sure he plays in his strengths. The most important thing is that he eliminates his man.”

Heitinga will not only be missing Álvarez on Sunday, Mohammed Kudus and Devyne Rensch will also be absent from the Philips Stadium.

Kayleigh Williams