Ajax coach hopes tide will turn

THE 2009-10 Absa Premiership league campaign has not been kind to Cape Town team Ajax.

The Urban Warriors' fortunes have taken a sharp turn for the worse. They are seventh on the log, and for the first time in recent history they are not on the list of possible champions.

Granted, the sudden departure of coach Muhsin Ertugral was a blow any team would find hard to handle.

The man currently in charge, Foppe de Haan, is candid in his admission that the club is struggling.

"We have not been playing very well and if the goal of going onto the field is to defeat the opponents, why did we score only two goals in six matches? It is clear we need a striker. But we have also not been defending as well as I'd like," De Haan said yesterday.

The Dutchman joined Ajax in November in the wake of Ertugral's shock departure and has had to adapt to unfamiliar conditions.

"The hardest thing is the absence of a second league. Players come from playing football basically as a hobby and then get into the first league without any high-level experience. The players have no knowledge of what it means to be a professional."

De Haan came out of retirement to sign up with the Urban Warriors for eight months. He hopes the tide will turn in Ajax's favour when the league restarts on February 3. The good news is that everyone apart from injured captain Brett Evans is in tip-top shape.