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Football | Absa Premiership

Bradley Grobler and Matthew Booth © Backpagepix

Ajax search for first win

Ajax Cape Town will be looking to net their first three points of the Absa Premiership season when they welcome Platinum Stars to Cape Town Stadium on Friday evening, kick-off at 8pm.

The Urban Warriors have had a mixed start to the season, where they managed to hold SuperSport United to a one-all draw, but lost the following week to Moroka Swallows after taking the lead.

The backline once again proved to be the weakness in Maarten Stekelenburg’s side and Granwald Scott has pinpointed the lapse of concentration as factors which let them down.

“For every team it is important to get a win and especially at home game,” said the skipper.

“I think we have been playing well, like our structure and everything, but we have these moments in the game that let us down.

“Especially in the last third in defending and that is why we conceded three goals in the last 15 minutes.

“One of our problems that we have is to stay focused for 90 minutes.”

Ajax’s conceding of three goals in a matter of ten minutes against the Dube Birds sparked fears that the crisis that struck them last season would return, but Scott says it is still early in the season.

“It is still early days and we are still working on it. This season is a new season and I feel the team understands each other and the coach more.

“Obviously we lost an important player like [George] Maluleka and we might lose [Nhlanhla] Vilakazi and we lost Terror [Fanteni]. We can’t make excuses after every season and I don’t think it will creep up again.”

Cavin Johnson will be standing as the head of the dugout for Platinum Stars on Friday, and he is a person the Ikamva outfit is well aware of.

“They are playing a different type of football over the years. Cavin Johnson was my youth coach at Ajax and I know what type of person he is and what type of coach he is.

“He wants his players to feel comfortable on the ball and they play a similar type of football to what Ajax plays.

“I think it will be a difficult game for us and I think it will be tricky, but it is our home game and I don’t think we need to worry about Platinum Stars coming here,” said Scott.

After years spent in the youth structures at Ajax, Johnson will be looking to take the element of what he knows about them and use it to his advantage.

“Scotty has matured over the years and he is an important player to the set-up and to the team on the field,” added the Dikwena coach.

“What we can take onto the field as an advantage is the fact that we know the players and we know Ajax.

“However, it is not an advantage travelling to Cape Town.”

Platinum Stars have had a mixed start to the season, seeing them beat last season’s runners-up Moroka Swallows 3-1, while they were stung with a loss in Bloemfontein.

“We have been playing some good football and a different brand of football here in South Africa which is a positive.

“Even against Bloemfontein Celtic, we lost because of two errors but we also hit the bar,” added the tactician.

“We cannot say we lost because we didn’t listen to the tactical game but it was more the technical errors.

“Against Ajax we will probably use the same approach with more tactical awareness. We will put up a fight.

“I am expecting a very big fight from Ajax. It will be their home game and because they have not done well, with a draw and a loss, they will try and put up a good fight.

“We are preparing for that and to put on a good show,” concluded Johnson.


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