Ajax Cape Town Stanley Menzo coach favours timing of Baroka meeting
Posted: 22 September 2017 Time: 12:15
Ajax Cape Town coach Stanley Menzo feels it is a good time to face Absa Premiership high-flyers Baroka FC, and hopes a positive result will rally his troops for the upcoming Cape derby.
The Urban Warriors and Bakgaga square off in Limpopo on Saturday afternoon, with the hosts riding high at the summit of the table, having yet to taste defeat in their five games so far this season.
Despite their good form, Menzo feels their opponent’s impressive run could work in the Cape club’s favour, and hopes a good result against Baroka will spill over into next week’s highly-anticipated derby against Cape Town City.
“I think it’s the right moment to meet them [Baroka], because maybe they might underestimate in this moment,” said Menzo, who is without first-choice striker Prince Nxumalo. “And the week after is the derby, so if we win this one, we’ll head into that game with a whole other feeling.
“You can see it with Baroka – two or three wins, and they’re rising – it can lift you up a lot, so that’s what I’m aiming for, a few wins in a row. It makes a difference on the log, but also in the feeling and belief.”
Menzo says opposite number Kgoloko Thobejane’s claims that his side want to “kill” opponents will serve as even more motivation for his side.
“When you play someone, you should never give them something that encourages them to beat you – don’t motivate them,” Menzo said. “So those sayings can motivate the team. Being on top of the table can also motivate the team. I heard their coach saying last year that they will win the championship, and I told Mich [D’Avray, Ajax technical director] that he’s a visionary, as this year they’re doing so well.”
Ajax recorded their first win of the season in a 2-0 victory over Baroka’s provincial rivals Polokwane City last time out, and Menzo is hoping to channel a winning mentality back into his squad after a difficult start to the season.
“Coaching is about letting players believe they can win – that mental part is also part of coaching,” he said. “So I’m encouraging my team to go for that second win in a row.”
Kick-off at Peter Mokaba Stadium is set for 15h00.