Ertugral expects Ajax's home form to be a factor against Baroka FC
Muhsin Ertugral expects Ajax Cape Town's excellent home form to be a factor when they continue their bid to survive Absa Premiership relegation against Baroka FC at the Athlone Stadium on Tuesday‚ but they will be without key forward Fagrie Lakay.
Only Orlando Pirates (26 points) have had more success than Ajax at home this season‚ with the Urban Warriors having accumulated 24 points in front of their own fans.
The fact that they find themselves in the bottom two shows how dismal they have been on their travels‚ where they have managed only four points from 42 available.
It makes the clash with Baroka‚ and against Kaizer Chiefs on the final day of the season‚ all the more crucial if Ajax are to survive.
“At home we have a pretty good squad‚ but it is a pressure situation‚” Ertugral said.
“It comes down to how we react in extreme pressure. Can we be calm and do the things we have worked on‚ or is that only 50 percent because the pressure kicks in?
“We all know that when pressure comes in we make decisions that even ourselves‚ we don’t understand why we did it.
"These are all the elements we need to look into‚ but we have learnt in the last couple of months to deal with the pressure and handle the pressure.”
Despite their poor away results‚ Ertugral says he has been pleased with the form of his players in the last month or so and hopes they will have a strong finish to the campaign.
“The team plays for me in the last four to six weeks good football‚ not only good football‚ but in home games very successful football.
"We are organised and we have made clear what were our limits are and how we can improve.
“Fagrie not playing [through suspension] is a bit of a handicap for us because we are playing counter-attack football and he is huge in that element. We need to find a player that is similar to him‚ but we have that.”
Baroka have not won in the league for almost two months‚ but Ertugral says that will not be a factor come Tuesday.
“I don’t look at what form they are in‚ I look for material things‚ what are the details of the team.
"The organisational forms.
"We will analyse precisely the players we need to tick off‚ but also the tactical aspects of the team.”
Baroka have an excellent record in Cape Town though‚ with a win and a draw against Cape Town City‚ and victory over Ajax in the final game last season that saw them beat the drop and push the Urban Warriors out of the top eight.