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Football | Absa Premiership

Jan Pruijn © Gallo Images

We need more up front - Pruijn



Ajax Cape Town lacks big-name strikers, believes interim coach Jan Pruijn after they played to a goalless draw in their Premiership clash against Bidvest Wits in Johannesburg on Tuesday night.

Having finished second in the league two seasons back, and ninth in the last campaign, Ajax have slipped further and are now flailing around the relegation zone.

Pruijn, however, insisted the current outfit could not be measured against squads from previous seasons, with the likes of Thulani Serrero and Terror Fanteni having left the club after helping them challenge for the league title.

"You can't compare that because that was already two seasons ago, then we had last season, then a new season," Pruijn said.

"The simple reality is that we do not have a Thulani Serero, we do not have a Terror Fanteni.

"We lost some players last season that could add something. Brent Carelse (who also left last season) is not a regular starter but one that still has a certain influence in certain moments."

Prujin admitted his players were unable to perform consistently and had seen their confidence dwindle.

"We now have a lot of young players," he said.

"We have a lot of quality, but one game they have everything and the second game they are nowhere.

"If we got points and a little more confidence, it is fine-tuning to what is the best combination in the midfield and players coming to the party."

Pruijn had said earlier in the week he would be happy with a point at Wits, and after the match he maintained the same sentiment, as he felt a feud between the club's owners was affecting on-field performances.

"We are in a bad situation off the field and on the field, he said.

"If you lose two times in a row – against Black Leopards was a very bad result – the reality is that the players are not 100 percent confident.

"You can say what you want but the players are carrying certain things on their shoulders."

After a slow start against the Students, Ajax put up a challenge in the second period but could not convert any their of the few opportunities they created.

"The first 20 minutes we were not in the game," the coach said.

"They were much quicker, much more aggressive. We lost a lot of balls by not being 100 percent sharp.

"In the second half, we were not good and did not create enough chances, and that's the biggest problem.

"I think it has to do, specifically, with us lacking strikers. Overall, offensively, we are not 100 percent."

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