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Back-to-back starts for Matt Miazga, back-to-back wins for Vitesse after March international break

Vitesse and Matt Miazga are off to an encouraging start to the final stage of their season.

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Vitesse returned to Eredivisie action after the March international break with seven games left to play in the league and the relatively modest task of consolidating a top-seven finish to assure itself some European club competition next season.

The team has hit the ground running. A 2-1 win over local rival NEC on April 2 was followed by a 1-0 win on the road over Heracles on April 5. Vitesse is fifth in the table, with a home game against the team most likely to challenge the existing Eredivisie top seven (well, those from fifth to seventh: the top three - Feyenoord, Ajax, and PSV - are well clear, and Utrecht looks to have built a solid cushion for itself in fourth), Heerenveen, coming up on April 8.

Vitesse isn't just playing for league position, however: its most important remaining game of this season is surely the KNVB Cup final against AZ on April 30. Convincing head coach Henk Fraser that they belong in his lineup for that match must be somewhere close to the front of the players' minds as they focus on the remaining games of the Eredivisie season.

To that end, and with regard to his continued growth and development as a player, Matt Miazga should be encouraged that he has retained his place in the starting lineup through the international break. He is still technically filling in for senior center back Maiker van der Werff, who has yet to be declared recovered from injury. But he also appears to have convinced Fraser he can handle the assignment of starting in Eredivisie. Miazga started both games against NEC and Heracles, and has now made 19 appearances in the league for Vitesse. He'll get the chance to round that up to 20 on April 8.