In any case, it was a new situation for Maduro to be sitting behind the microphone. For the moment, the assistant coach is doing the honours as Ajax's caretaker head coach. He talked about a 'hectic week' at the club. "It's strange to be sitting here. Now I've taken it over temporarily. But my main focus is on this week: on Brighton and PSV. I think a new head coach will come in soon, also because I can't do it myself. I've been working on getting my papers over the last year."
The former Ajax player then talked about his experience of the Monday, the day that Ajax and Steijn went their separate ways. "It was a strange day. We just trained as normal and did the debrief. After the training, he told the news to the staff. After that, I was quickly asked to take over.
He himself had no doubt about continuing. "We often forget that it's about Ajax. It's not about me or about Maurice, but about Ajax. That's where I stand. Perhaps things aren't going well, but in the background we're trying to repair it. New people are coming into the club, including Danny Blind. Everyone working in this club has to be thinking of Ajax. I hope the supporters also forget the negative and support the club fully."
For the Bosnian-Swede Tahirović, his first few months at Ajax were also eventful, to say the least. He has grown as a player and as a person, as he says himself. "We started really well, and then went into a down period. But after yesterday's training, I saw a new 'spark' and positivity." The match against Brighton will be a difficult game," the midfielder continued. "But we're positive now. Of course, we're going for three points, even if it's difficult."
Maduro also sees new élan in his players. "The way we trained yesterday gives me hope. I see that the players have the quality." Even so, he is mindful of the opponent's strength. Brighton & Hove Albion have recently caused a sensation with their good play in England.
"Brighton is a unique team. As their opponent, you're forced to do something different. Even big clubs like Manchester City, which prefer to push fully forward, do that. But they're also in a slump. Our staff have analysed the squad carefully."
The 38-year-old coach trainer does want to explain a little more about what he expects from the English opponent. "It's impressive the way they play. With Roberto De Zerbi, I think he's a very intelligent coach, because when he came (in the summer of last year), I think after three weeks they were already playing this style of football. Their ball possession is great. They wait and hope that you step in. Then they like to play through the centre."
In Ajax's play, Maduro finally wants to shift the emphasis relative to the recent weeks under Steijn. "Every trainer has a vision. Ultimately, the head coach determines the way to play. It's very normal in a coaching office to say 'shall we do it this way, or shouldn't we do this?'"
"I'll change the emphasis a bit in the attack and defence. You'll see how we'll do that tomorrow," the coach concluded with a smile.