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Gordon Igesund: Ajax Cape Town will find it tough in the relegation play-offs

07:00 IST 13/05/2018
Gordon Igesund
The former Bafana Bafana mentor believes that the Urban Warriors must keep working hard in order to save their PSL status

In the wake of Ajax Cape Town’s failure to move away from the Premier Soccer League (PSL) relegation play-offs, their former coach Gordon Igesund is confident that the Urban Warriors will pull through, although it will not be easy.

The former Bafana Bafana mentor believes that coach Muhsin Ertugral has a good squad at his disposal and will be able to find a plan to ensure Ajax survive.

However, he also maintains that the likes of Jomo Cosmos and Black Leopards will be desperate to find their way back into the elite division.

Ajax failed to beat Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday afternoon at the Cape Town Stadium as they suffered a 2-1 in their final match of the season.

On the other hand, a win for SuperSport United over Baroka FC and a draw for Polokwane City against Chippa United saw Ajax remain in 15th spot and subsequently meant they would have to defend their top flight status in the play-offs.

Nonetheless, speaking exclusively to Goal following the result, Igesund explained what the Mother City-based outfit must do to ensure that they save their PSL status.

"Look, I went to the game to watch and to offer some support, but they were unfortunate against Chiefs,” Igesund told Goal.

“Having said that, they have an opportunity in the play-offs and they have been good for South African football," said the former coach.

“They have a nice set up and will find ways of dealing with the situation, but it will be difficult to fight against two competitive opponents in Jomo Cosmos and Leopards who will want to come back," said the former Manning Rangers manager.

“We know these things happen in football and we saw Bidvest Wits and SuperSport having their own problems but I am sure in Ertugral they have a good coach to get good results," Igesund reacted.

“You know I have not given that much thought (when asked about camping in Johannesburg)…I am sure that is something they could consider because there are lot of factors such as altitude and it will be difficult in Vosloorus and Thohoyandou,” he continued.

Ajax have not been good travellers this season and facing Lidoda Duvha and Ezenkosi away from home could be a challenge for the Capetonians.

“You know that has been their downfall, they are not good on the road, but I am sure Muhsin has a plan and I will only say they must just keep working hard," added the 61-year-old.

“I think it will be tough for them because they have to think about a pre-season, they have big decisions to make in looking at matters such as rest and signing new players and so on," said Igesund.

Meanwhile, Igesund has also shared his thoughts on Ajax forward Tendai Ndoro's eligibility saga that has made headlines over past few months as the former Rothmans Cup winners fielded the Zimbabwean striker after the resumption of the second round.

The ex-Chicken Inn striker played for Orlando Pirates and Al Faisaly in Saudi Arabia before joining Ajax in a the move that has been deemed controversial as Fifa rules state that a player can only play for a maximum of two clubs in a single season. 

Moreover, the PSL and the South African Football Association (Safa) are set to announce a decision on Monday regarding the player’s eligibility, which could lead to further points being docked.

“Yeah I don’t know, it’s a tough situation for them and I don’t think they are focusing on that issue, but on the play-offs they can’t allow it to derail them," responded the Durban-born coach.

“What is saddening is the fact the matter has dragged on for too long, but I am sure the PSL is doing everything to sort it and let’s see what happens,” concluded the coach.