John Heitinga explains where Ajax need to improve after Sparta Rotterdam win

John Heitinga has demonstrated huge improvements in Ajax’s form since taking over Alfred Schreuder but believes there is room for improvement, Voetbal International reports.

The 39-year-old coach saw his side achieve a 4-0 win over Sparta Rotterdam at the Johan Cruyff Arena but the former Ajax defender has picked out what needs to be improved. 

With the Europa League second-leg decider against Union Berlin just days away, Heitinga is keen to make some notable improvements if they are to progress in the UEFA competition after a goalless draw in Amsterdam last weekend. 

“Flexibility in the opponent’s half is desirable,” Heitinga said. “I saw great attacks today, especially the couples with the back and the winger on both sides. But we also know that we must and can do better.”

“That wasn’t always good in the previous games. Today a clear improvement was visible. We also paid a lot of attention to it. But in the second half we were also just attacking, and I’m talking about the midfield and the attack. Then spaces are created. You will have a hard time against better teams. That is something we will take a critical look at.”

Heitinga will include it in his analysis on the way to the European meeting in Berlin. “We will work on a plan tomorrow. It is a tough team with a strong collective. We know it’s going to be tough. We have to make sure we get one round further.”

The Eredivisie side are unbeaten under their interim head coach with an impressive four-match winning run – something Schreuder only achieved back in early September last year before form dipped to the point he was sacked last month. 

Convincing wins against Excelsior, SC Cambuur, RKC Waalkwijk and Sparta Rotterdam which included 16 goals scored have soared the club to second-place in the league and with a superior goal difference over league leaders Feyenoord. 

GBeNeFN | Tom Phillips

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