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Eredivisie Preview: PSV's Cocu in confident mood

Phillip Cocu believes PSV have the mentality necessary to further their push towards the Eredivisie title ahead of their return to action at Vitesse.

Cocu's men lead the Dutch top flight by four points in their attempt to break Ajax's dominance of recent years.

And Cocu is adamant that his side have what it takes to deny the capital club a fifth straight title.

"We will not just defend our lead but attempt to widen the gap with our nearest rivals," Cocu said. 

"We work hard to achieve our aim; the players show great work ethic and know what it takes to be a successful professional football player.

"We've hardly ever failed to meet expectations this season and bounced back to winning ways after a disappointing defeat. We've put on solid team displays, feel confident when a game kicks off and trust each other. 

"Actually the differences between last season and the current campaign are not that big. Small details make the difference. We've scored more goals from set pieces and conceded fewer. 

"We really operate as a team and if we manage to maintain that spirit in the upcoming seventeen league games, we stand a fair chance to reach our aim."

Ajax have the chance to put pressure on PSV when they host Groningen on Friday.

The champions will be keen to focus on football again after a mid-season break that has seen coach Frank de Boer come out and deny rumours linking him with the vacant head coach role at Premier League side Newcastle United.

Striker Kolbeinn Sigthorsson has also been reported to be heading for the exit door, with Lille said to be interested.

But history suggests that Ajax will have no problem putting those issues behind them versus a club that has never beaten the hosts at the Amsterdam Arena.

Feyenoord have been cut adrift from the top two, however, general director Eric Gudde has announced that the Rotterdam club are keen to sign coach Fred Rutten to a new deal.

Rutten can further his case for an improved contract by beating fellow European hopefuls Twente, while PEC Zwolle and AZ should be confident of boosting their Europa League credentials against strugglers NAC Breda and Dordecht respectively.

Heracles welcome Excelsior to Almelo in an encounter that could prove crucial at the wrong end of the table, and relegation threatened Go Ahead Eagles visit Willem II.

Elsewhere, ADO Den Haag meet Cambuur and Heerenveen travel to Utrecht.