Marlin insists Ajax are still in control of promotion race

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Ajax Cape Town head coach Calvin Marlin says the race for automatic promotion to the Absa Premiership remains firmly in their control despite suffering back to back defeats in the GladAfrica Championship.

However, second-placed Swallows are breathing down their neck, with Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) and Uthongathi practically fighting for the playoff spots – second/third place.

Swallows beat league leaders the ‘Urban Warriors’ 1-0 on Tuesday to narrow the lead at the top the standings to just three points, with three matches left to play.

Marlin pointed out that at this stage, promotion back to South Africa’s top-flight is theirs to lose.

“We must focus on ourselves, once you start worrying about things that are out of your control you are just wasting energy. It is all there for us to grab still,” said Marlin ahead of his troops clash against University of Pretoria on Saturday at the Rand Stadium, 15:00.

“AmaTuks like to play football, they like to put the ball on the floor and take some risks. They have got nothing to lose, they enjoy their game. I think if we can learn from that and start to enjoy our football again, play as a team and build the confidence within the team – it is a good match-up,” added Marlin.

“It was a good match when we played them in the reverse fixture. We need to play more aggressive football, get over being nervous and start playing the football, we’ve been playing the whole season and which got us in this position [at the top of the table].

“We have only one goal to show for our efforts in the bubble. We need to be more ruthless in front of goal and hopefully, we will go out there and play football this weekend,” concluded the Ajax mentor.

GladAfrica Championship fixtures

Saturday, 22 August

13:00 – Jomo Cosmos v Free State Stars – Wits Rugby Stadium

15:00 – Cape Umoya United v JDR Stars – Tuks A

15:00 – Ajax Cape Town v University of Pretoria – Rand Stadium

15:00 – Real Kings v Mbombela Stadium – Tsakane Stadium

Sunday, 23 August

13:00 – Uthongathi FC v Royal Eagles – Rand Rugby Stadium

15:00 – Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila v TS Sporting – Sturrock Park

15:00 – Swallows FC v Steenberg United – Makhulong Stadium

15:00 – Richards Bay FC v TS Galaxy – Tuks A

RELATED STORY: GladAfrica Wrap: Ajax troubles continue

By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi 

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