Ajax Cape Town coach Jan Pruijn is hoping for a big finish to the year in the final three Absa Premiership matches of 2012 for his club
They start with a home meeting against Maritzburg United at the Cape Town Stadium on Friday night, before two away trips to Golden Arrows and SuperSport United.
The Urban Warriors are currently just two points ahead of bottom side AmaZulu and what was a poor start to the season has now very definitely become a relegation scrap.
The straight-talking Pruijn said he told his players they “needed to look in the mirror” following their 3-0 loss at Kaizer Chiefs on Tuesday, when he also branded them “not good enough”.
“I said to the players after the Chiefs game, ‘I respect you a lot, but after this performance we must admit that we are not good enough’,” Pruijn says, before revealing he will be looking to bring in fresh faces during the January transfer window.
“If I look at the squad I have now, how many real winners do we have, how many real leaders are there? I think not too many. We must look to sign not just players who can win us duels in the middle of the park, but also ball players who can help us attack.
“We must definitely strengthen, I know that, the management know that … they are maybe even pushing harder in that view than me. We will look for the right types of players and it they are available, we will try to come to an agreement.”
Maritzburg go into the game off the back of a disappointing 1-0 loss at home to Platinum Stars on Tuesday night, when they also had key defender Mohamed Awal sent off.
That will stretch coach Ernst Middendorp’s small squad even further, but on the plus side he can point to an excellent record for his side against the Mother City team.United have lost just one of their last eight meetings with Ajax, and were the side that denied the Urban Warriors the league title on the final day of the 2010/11 campaign with a 2-2 draw in Cape Town.
|DID YOU KNOW|
- Maritzburg have been unbeaten away from home this season, recording four wins and two draws from six matches.
- In head-to-head stats, Ajax and Maritzburg have met in 12 league matches since 2005/06. The record between the teams is dead even: four wins apiece and four draws. The Cape side has had a tiny edge in goals scored down the years, 16 to 15.
- Ajax have an unbeaten home record against Maritzburg, with two wins and four draws from six matches.
- Last season the Urban Warriors took four points off the Team of Choice, drawing 1-1 in Cape Town and winning 2-1 in Pietermaritzburg.