Ajax Cape Town head coach Stanley Menzo is confident his players will rekindle the ‘fire and heart’ they showcased towards the end of last year, as the Urban Warriors aim to bounce back to winning ways at the weekend.
Following a disappointing showing against Bidvest Wits on Tuesday evening, Ajax Cape Town are fired up ahead of their clash against crosstown rivals Cape Town City on Saturday. Kick-off at Cape Town Stadium is scheduled for 20h15.
Menzo stated that he and his troops will quickly comb through the mistakes made during the 5-0 defeat suffered to the Clever Boys, before switching focus to the Cape Town Derby.
“We played against a good team, a very good team – the possibility to lose was there, the only thing that was disappointing is the way we lost,” Menzo said at the pre-match press conference. “Those moments happen in a season, but I hope it was the last ‘moment’.
The 53-year-old believes the Citizens, who sit in third place on the Absa Premiership log standings, are favourites to come up trumps this weekend – but believes that once the teams step out on the field they will be equals.
“As a coach, for me it is firstly and most importantly that we get the points we need, we are still in a position that is not good,” Menzo continued. “Of course the Derby is a very nice moment, it is something special for the people. It is a three dimensional match.
“The log doesn’t lie and they are third on the log standings, that means that they are the favourites, but it is a special game…a Derby. At the moment of the match we don’t look at the log.
“They have a good squad, some important players. The captain [Lebogang Manyama] who is carrying the team as a leader – a good squad, not easy to beat them. They can win games even in stoppage time.
Ajax Cape Town endured a huge upturn in results following the Dutchman’s appointment as head coach last year, and he has called on his troops to re-ignite that same kind of fire as the Urban Warriors aim to topple their rivals.
“We need to get results and results breed confidence, when you lose 5-0 it doesn’t give you a big boost. What I saw at the end of last year was a team that played with fire and heart, and that is what I missed on Tuesday.
“I hope and I am sure that the players will give us fire and heart on Saturday,” Menzo concluded.
Moreover, Roscoe Pietersen and Prince Nxumalo – who only arrived back in Cape Town on Thursday – are the only injury concerns for the game.