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Football | Absa Premiership

Jan Pruijn © Backpagepix

Ajax expecting sharper Arrows



Ajax Cape Town will be targeting back-to-back wins in the Absa Premiership when they visit Lamontville Golden Arrows at the King Zwelithini Stadium on Sunday, kick-off at 3:30pm.

The Urban Warriors have picked up six points in their last three matches and go into this clash on the back of a morale-boosting 1-0 win over Maritzburg United.

Nonetheless, coach Jan Pruijn says they will not dwell much on this victory as they have to focus on the upcoming challenges.

“If we look back to our game [against Maritzburg], it was a good game,” he said. “Certain things worked out and the most positive thing was at the backline.

“It is all history and if we are thinking too much about this result we are already one step behind Arrows.

“I think we must keep everything focused and down to earth - we have a big chance to get three points over them.”

While Pruijn was also brought in as Maarten Stekelenburg’s replacement midway through the first half of the season, he believes Arrows are still battling to adjust to their coach Manqoba Mngqithi, who took over from Muhsin Ertugral.

“They are a team who has also changed coach but the difference in that situation I think is a change of two coaches who are completely two different personalities - two people with a complete different look at approaching a game,” he said.

“We are hopefully expecting good weather and a team that is trying to recover from a big loss last Saturday [to Platinum Stars].”

Ajax are currently sitting in 11th place on the Absa Premiership log with 15 points from 14 matches, two points ahead of Arrows, who have dropped to 14th place.

While Abafana Bes’thende have played some promising football, they have not managed to get the required results consistently and they go into this game having won only one of their last five matches.

Last weekend they looked to be on their way to a second successive win when they led 4-2 against Platinum Stars, but conceded four goals after the break to lose the match 6-4.

Captain Thanduyise Khuboni admits that the whole team was disappointed with the outcome of the match, but insists that they have taken some positives which will help them in their next game.

“It’s quite obvious that we did well going forward, scoring four goals against a team like Platinum Stars means we are on the right track in that department,” said Khuboni.

“However, we let ourselves down by losing concentration and conceding too many goals in the second half.

“I won’t say it’s the fault of the defence but as a team we have to be more alert when we don’t have the ball.”

The Bafana Bafana midfielder says the whole team is looking forward to the game against Ajax, although they are expecting another tough encounter.

“Ajax have also been through difficult times and they are fighting to move up, so it’s going to one of those difficult games,” he said.

“But, we are planning to focus on our strengths and if we improve from the last game we can win this game.”

Last season Ajax pulled a league double over Arrows, winning 1-0 in Durban before a more convincing 4-1 win in Cape Town.

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