Ajax Cape Town coach Muhsin Ertugral plots for Patrick Mabedi's Kaizer Chiefs
Posted: 11 May 2018 Time: 12:57
Ajax Cape Town coach Muhsin Ertugral has heaped praise on opposite number Patrick Mabedi, and knows he has to alter his plans against Kaizer Chiefs due to their interim coach’s knowledge.
Ajax will line up on Saturday for one of the most important games in their history, needing maximum points to avoid a relegation play-off spot and possible second-tier football for the first time in their existence.
Despite the well-known mantra of ‘desperate times call for desperate measures’, Ertugral maintains he will keep up with his consistent team selection for this weekend's crunch clash, yet will implement a few tactical changes.
“We use similar line-ups, which is good for stability, but the pattern will be different – maybe pressing, maybe sitting back, maybe opening one side and attacking down the other side. So there will be elements that are different than what we’ve done before,” he said. “These two weeks have given us a bit more time to prepare. But the line-up won’t change a lot – you see at Sundowns, or those enjoying international football success, often use the same line-up, for momentum. So you can’t change it every time – yes, there might be one or two changes, but not much.”
The tactical changes are necessitated, in Ertugral’s view, from the knowledge Chiefs’ interim coach has, having played under the Turk at Naturena and served as his assistant coach at Mpumalanga Black Aces.
Ertugral lavished praise upon his counterpart, and admits being wary coming up against his former second-in-command.
“As a player, I loved Patrick,” said Ertugral. “With the success I had at Chiefs, Patrick was always a key player in my team.
“He was one of the quickest players I’ve ever come across, an explosive player; you could dribble past him, but he would get back again. And he was great in the air. He was also tactically very advanced. I brought him into coaching, and I’m a firm believer in his coaching abilities.
“You can see he has already changed the way Chiefs play, in that they now use a back four. He believes in a back four, as he was himself a defender. He knows how to defend, and he knows my thinking – that is why we have now changed our thinking, as he played for me for almost seven years, and has been my assistant coach, so he knows the patterns we normally use. So it will be interesting as we won’t play the pattern he knows.”