FC Twente will aim to end the first half of the Eredivisie season at the top of the table

Steve McClaren: His FC Twente side have won two in six

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FC Twente chairman Joop Munsterman has tried to put his side's recent slump into perspective as they aim to end the first half of the Eredivisie season at the top of the table.

The Enschede club go into the final round of games before the winter break second, behind PSV Eindhoven only on goal difference.

However, they are scarcely in championship-winning form and have won just two of their last six league games, while also suffering exits from the Europa League and the KNVB-Beker in the last two months.

Munsterman last week gave his backing to Twente coach Steve McClaren and the team responded with a victory over Heracles Almelo at De Grolsch Veste.

They travel to Alkmaar to take on AZ on Friday night, and Munsterman told FC Twente TV: "Teams do slip back and our fall is a very relative one. We are still at the top with PSV, but it is critical (to recover form)."

Munsterman admits Twente could struggle if too many of their top players are injured.

"We cannot just replace three or four of our top players," he added. "We are not Manchester City."

AZ ended a six-game winless league run with a 2-1 victory away to PEC Zwolle in their last outing, and go into the game 12th in the table.

League leaders PSV are also on the road this week and take on NAC Breda on Saturday. NAC are third from bottom and have won just three of their 17 league games so far this season.

Ajax go into the weekend programme a point behind the top two and take their unbeaten league away record to Utrecht on Sunday.

Utrecht are currently sixth and need a win to consolidate their place in the Europa League play-off positions, but will have a huge job on their hands to stop a rampant Ajax side who have won six consecutive league games.

Fourth-placed Vitesse are away to Heerenveen on Saturday having failed to win either of their last two league games, while Feyenoord, who have won five of their last six league matches, are at home to Groningen on the same day.

Bottom side Willem II, who have won just three points away from home all season, take on RKC Waalwijk this weekend. PEC Zwolle will hope to stay out of the bottom three at the break by taking something from their trip to face Heracles Almelo, while VVV Venlo will likewise seek to avoid being sucked into trouble as they host second-bottom Roda JC.

ADO Den Haag host fellow Europa League hopefuls NEC Nijmegen in Saturday's other match.