Ajax Cape Town coach Calvin Marlin is demanding a superhuman effort from his troops as they aim to make it two wins in a row when they tackle Black Leopards in the second encounter of the 2019/20 PSL promotion/relegation play-offs at FNB Stadium this afternoon.
The ‘Urban Warriors’ put up a spirited effort to edge Tshakhuma Tsha Madzivhandila (TTM) 3-2 in the opening game of the playoffs on Sunday, while Leopards lost their last league game 3-0 against eventual champions Mamelodi Sundowns at the weekend to conclude their Premiership campaign in 15th spot.
Marlin is wary of the threat posed by a wounded Leopards side and their goal scoring machine Mwape Musonda, who scored 9 goals in 24 league games.
“Obviously the result [against TTM] is very positive. Overall, we are pleased with the result but conceding the way we conceded the two goals is not something we are happy with,” said Marlin.
“Taking that now into the Leopards game, there are quite a good few individual players in their team, the way they play is sometimes very individualistic in their approach, they rely a lot on Musonda to get them goals.
“We need to prepare tactically for what they bring to the table and obviously for the size of the pitch. FNB is quite a bit bigger than what we’ve grown accustomed to in recent weeks but hopefully, it is a pitch which suits our style of play.
“For us the biggest problem is recovery. It was a tough game mentally and physically against TTM,” added Marlin.
‘Lidoda Duvha’ caretaker coach Mongezi Bobe admits that it will be tough in the play-off but promises his troops will put up a fight in order to retain their top-flight status.
“Now it’s all about the playoffs, we need to go. It is difficult that now we have to go back again, try to give the energy to these guys,” said Bobe.
It is going to be a difficult one, we did not want to go to the play-offs. It is going to be tough. Mentally we have to be strong. The players have to be strong. It will be tough, but we are going to fight,” concluded the Leopards coach.
The encounter is scheduled to start at 15:00.
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By Tokelo Martin Mokhesi