Feyenoord coach Ronald Koeman believes his side are well and truly in the hunt for their first Eredivisie title since 1999 after moving to within a point of the top of the table.
Three straight wins, including a priceless 2-1 success over erstwhile leaders PSV Eindhoven, have given Koeman's men real hope of ending their title drought as they prepare to meet FC Utrecht on Sunday.
Koeman said: "For almost all the players to be competing for the title is a new experience and they are probably still getting used to it.
"But it is impossible now to say we are not challenging, especially as five of our remaining eight games are at home.
"We want to stay in the title race for as long as possible."
After PSV's shock loss at Heerenveen last week it is Ajax who head into the weekend on top for the first time this season, with the Amsterdam giants travelling to AZ Alkmaar on Sunday.
Ajax were thumped 3-0 at home by AZ in the KNVB Beker last month and coach Frank De Boer acknowledged his side must maintain the level they showed against PEC Zwolle last week.
De Boer said: "We still have eight finals to go and if we keep playing the same way we will get results. The most important thing is the way we play, because that will lead to success."
Dick Advocaat's ailing PSV are still without suspended striker Jeremain Lens as they bid to clamber back to the summit on Saturday with a home game against relegation-threatened RKC Waalwijk.
Fourth-placed Vitesse Arnhem can go a long way towards securing Europa League football next season as they bid to secure a fifth straight win against another in-form side in ADO Den Haag.
In other Saturday fixtures, struggling VVV-Venlo aim to ease their relegation worries at home to Heracles Almelo, while NEC Nijmegen meet Heerenveen in the battle to secure one of four Europa League play-off spots.
On Sunday, bottom club Willem II, fresh from a rare win over VVV last weekend, travel to NAC Breda while FC Groningen will look to inflict a fourth straight league defeat on struggling FC Twente.
PEC and Roda JC meet in a potentially crucial relegation battle on Friday night.