FOLLOWING their disappointing run, Ajax Cape Town will be hoping to bounce back against Orlando Pirates when they meet in an Absa Premiership match at the Orlando Stadium on Tuesday evening.
The Urban Warriors succumbed to yet another defeat in the final stages of the game, when they let slip a narrow 1-0 lead over Bloemfontein Celtic to drop three points in a 2-1 defeat.
After dominating in the first stages of the game, the defeat was a result of an unforgivable second half by Maarten Stekelenburg’s men and one which has left the squad disappointed.
“I am still disappointed about that (the Bloemfontein Celtic game),” Ajax’s midfield maestro Koen van de Laak revealed.
“I think after the first half we deserved to win of course, but in the second half…it was not our game.”
The loss of composure in the final stages of the game sparked memories of their troubled campaign last season and they will be hoping that the same doesn’t happen against the Buccaneers.
“I heard that it was like that at Ajax; where they played good football all season but in the final moments they lost the game. [Against Celtic] it started with their (first) goal, which kind of put pressure on us.
“I don’t know Pirates that well, but for me, with every opponent we get to play them once and it’s a chance to prove we can win in away games as well. We just have to play like we can play; play like we played against Bloemfontein.”
The first goal let in by Ajax was a result of scrappy and uneven field, which hosted a rugby game the evening before, and which saw Sean Roberts slip on his back after running out to retrieve the ball.
“We will also be playing on a better pitch, so if we play our own game, like in the first 45minutes against Celtic, we will be fine I think,” concluded the Dutchman.
Meanwhile, Ajax will be coming up against fellow Santos coach Roger De Sa as he gets set to oversee his second game as coach at the helm of Pirates.
Following two successive defeats, the Mozambique-born coach replaced Augusto Palacios three weeks ago and he managed to bring home three points in his first match against Platinum Stars.
“It feels good after the win but there is nothing new, I’m still doing the same job. I work with a group of great people,” he noted after the game.
“I thought we played well against Platinum Stars. The only problem is that we still need to score more goals, which is something we are attending to at training.”
The Sea Robbers have only managed to find the back of the net twice this season but they could be favouring their chances against Ajax, who have the third weakest defence in the league so far.
“Once we get that issue right, I have no doubt we will really do well. I believe in continuity, so it is important for us to be consistent after the win over Stars,” concluded the tactician.
Kick-off is at 7.30pm-Backpage TXT