We chat with Berghuis and look ahead to the match against Vitesse. Has the squad recovered from their defeat yet? "Everyone was really disappointed, but we just have to pick ourselves up as there are two important fixtures still to go. Those we have to win. You can't really be on the up if you're losing matches against equal teams. We're working hard on it; now we just need to translate that into actual play."
Berghuis thinks talk of a wider problem is premature. "I don't see it like that, but you can't escape the fact that we lost the games in the Champions League, except those against Rangers, and then against AZ and PSV twice. We now have two games ahead of us which we just have to win."
Guts and bravado
On Wednesday, troubled Vitesse awaits in the final home game of 2022: "I expect we'll earn three points and show we mean business with guts and bravado. Creating opportunities is what Ajax is all about. The reality is, if we win then we go to the top. Of course, things don't feel like that right now, but we mustn't lose sight of it. We need to keep on winning if we're to stay up there. I don't think people are looking at us in a negative light. It is what it is. Last season we went into the winter break at a disadvantage, but hopefully this year we'll be in the lead. If you're out ahead in winter then you're doing fine, but we mustn't close our eyes to the fact that the team still has plenty of room for improvement."