Steijn was asked first how he is feeling personally. "I'm great, thanks for asking," said the new Ajax manager in reply to ESPN. Various things were discussed over the next half hour, but the questions most often asked related to building up the squad.
When asked, Steijn was clear about which line(s) he wants to strengthen in his team. "The defenders, that seems clear to me," he said. "We could also do with another striker. We're really pleased with Brian Brobbey. He too has had a great warm-up, but he's the only striker. If anything happens to him, all we can do is push forward with Mohammed Kudus. Those are my priorities: two defenders and one striker."
Steijn reckons there is no doubt the Ajax squad will see its numbers boosted. "It is well known that we need and want to get stronger in a number of positions. We've had certain guarantees, and so it will happen. But it is what it is. Tomorrow we have eighteen match-fit players. I think those guys have sufficient quality between them, and they're also full of confidence."
Steijn was also asked if he is curious about what Ajax is going to do out on the pitch. "No, not especially. I'm mainly curious to see if the players can pull off what we've been working on for several weeks. I feel confident they can."
Steijn set out what people can expect from his team. "It will mostly be the good old Ajax style. With wingers and defenders who close in with the intention of seeming to be everywhere all at once. What I'm particularly looking for is dynamism and intensity. This should be a team constantly on the move, both in possession and when possession is lost. This was emphasized during the pre-season training."
Possible replacement for Forbs
New signing Carlos Forbs will not appear in the starting eleven against Heracles. "He's looking good, but physically he is not quite where we expected him to be. He might go on, but is not yet fit enough for a whole game."
Steijn sees most opportunities for the Portuguese player on the right wing. "Bergwijn is my man for the left wing. Steven could even move to number 10 and Carlos play on the left, but I see him mainly on the right for now. Either way, I would like to see four forwards in the formation who can change around a lot. Brobbey can also move over to the side. There are plenty of opportunities for Carlos. I see him as a multifunctional player."