Ertugral: Downs ‘far beyond’ SA football


The Urban Warriors will take on the log leaders at Cape Town Stadium, sitting precariously in 15th spot on the Absa Premiership standings, two points ahead of bottom-placed Wits.

And despite Masandawana’s 3-2 loss to Polokwane City, Ertugral believes his side will be lining up against this season’s champions, against whom a victory would be a “bonus”.

“Sundowns is a team that’s far beyond South African football, they won the Champions League and I think they will win the league here as well,” he said. “But they’re not our target. The game after we’re playing a team that’s near the bottom [Platinum Stars], so we need to concentrate on those elements. These are the bonuses [beating Sundowns], rubbing shoulders with the best team in the country.”

The Turk started his fourth stint in charge of Ajax with a 2-1 loss to Maritzburg United, and knows he has his work cut out as he looks to resurrect Ajax’s season.

But despite being adored by the Cape club, the experienced coach insists the players are not playing for him, but for the team.

“The players are playing for Ajax Cape Town, not for me,” he said. “We need to change this way of thinking. These are contracted, professional players. Obviously I am here to motivate them and guide them in the right direction, and they know I’m a pretty fair guy.

“But they know I’m a person who believes we have to work for our living, work for the fans and the club. There’s no time for personal egos. It’s time to work as an orchestra, with every tune organised in synergy.”

Kick-off at Cape Town Stadium is set for 19h30.