PREVIEW: Stanley Menzo geared for Absa Premiership pressure cooker

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Ajax Cape Town touch down in Johannesburg today ahead of an important few days of Absa Premiership action.

The Urban Warriors take on Bidvest Wits at Bidvest Stadium on Wednesday evening with both teams currently lingering at the wrong end of the log standings, and desperate to move clear of the relegation zone.

Stanley Menzo’s troops will then play host to Chippa United at the same venue this Saturday. We have been forced to move our home clash to an alternative venue due to the unavailability of suitable facilities in Cape Town.

With the turn of the year fast approaching, teams in South Africa’s top division are in a fierce battle for places with a mere 10 points between the team at the summit of the Premiership, and the Clever Boys at the foot of the table.

The Urban Warriors come up against a Bidvest Wits side buoyed by Telkom Knockout glory, and packed with former Ajax Cape Town stars in midweek.

Menzo is aware of the fact that their opponents will be on cloud nine following their cup success, but underlined the importance of focusing on oneself as the Cape club aim to turn a challenging corner.

“I hope the players feel the pressure, as the pressure is there,” said Menzo. “It’s a normal thing in football, and you have to deal with the pressure. As coaches we try keep the pressure as low as possible, but it’s urgent in this moment, so they have to deal with the pressure and be sure that we focus on doing the things we can do.

“All the things out of our control, like Bidvest Wits having won the final, it’s lots of energy … so we need to focus on ourselves, as otherwise we make it too difficult.

Menzo continued: “It’s always difficult when things don’t go your way. Wits have been boosted by winning the final and they have their back four back. But we just have to think about ourselves; these are things we cannot change and we have to deal with it.

“It’s all about taking things game by game. We will try to win this one, and then move on to the next one. Hopefully, soon we will have enough points for me, the team and the club,” he concluded.

In head-to-head stats, Bidvest Wits and Ajax Cape Town have met in 34 league matches since the 1999-2000 season. The Clever Boys have claimed 13 wins compared to 11 for the Urban Warriors, while 10 matches have ended all square.

Last season, the Braamfontein-based club completed a league double over our boys, winning 2-1 in the Mother City in the first half of the campaign, before romping to a 5-0 victory in the reverse fixture in Johannesburg.

The Clever Boys have won four of their last five league matches against the Urban Warriors, something we hope to rectify. Kick-off is at 19h30 CAT.

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