Ajax failed to win its last three matches. That fact doesn't leave the Ajax players unmoved. "You feel the disappointment within the players. Against AZ, we got chances and opportunities but we didn’t score. We didn’t reward ourselves. Now we have to make sure we at least play in the UEFA Europa League next year. We will start fiercely on Sunday, wanting to make the difference. The sharpness has to be there, and the players need to take all they can from the training sessions."
The Ajax players work hard during the training sessions, which the head coach sees daily at sports ground De Toekomst. Points on which the team lacked the previous matches have been analysed. "Everything we do during the training is competitive. Once the ball rolls, the players only want one thing: to win. There is a lot at stake for both the club and the players. They both want to end up on the highest stage. The players are very motivated, even though we cannot influence a second place anymore. We have three matches left to play and we need to make the most out of it."
Also in the run-up to the away match against Groningen, journalists asked questions about the future. "As long as I don’t hear anything, I am Ajax's head coach and will I focus on next season. With the team managers, I am already working on the pre-season. The club will have to take the right decision. I got on board to help. In the end, you have to look at your own future. I don’t know if I will get the opportunity. Of course, I look at my own future too. I don’t think it will take long before the decision about a new head coach will be taken. I often talk to Sven Mislintat and Edwin van der Sar. If someone knows the players, it’s me. It makes sense that people ask for my opinion."
Looking at the coming match, Heitinga is clear about which Ajax players are fit to play against FC Groningen. Ahmetcan Kaplan and Kian Fitz-Jim won’t be able to play for the rest of this season. "Steven Berghuis and Mohammed Kudus took part in the majority of the training season. We will have to see if they are fit to play on Sunday."