Pi­etersen set to save Ajax

Cape Times - - SPORT - Rod­ney Rein­ers

AJAX Cape Town are des­per­ate for an in­jec­tion of con­fi­dence and, above all, a good dose of old-fash­ioned lead­er­ship and per­son­al­ity in the team. As they pre­pare to host Polok­wane City in a PSL fix­ture at the Cape Town Sta­dium this evening (kick-off 8pm), the so­lu­tion may just have been found with the avail­abil­ity of Roscoe Pi­etersen.

Pi­etersen was red-carded in the fi­nal game of last sea­son and has sub­se­quently been sus­pended for Ajax’s three open­ing fix­tures of the new PSL sea­son. The 28-year-old Capeto­nian has top-flight ex­pe­ri­ence with Chippa United and Su­perS­port United, but blos­somed af­ter sign­ing for Ajax last sea­son. Among their stand-out play­ers dur­ing a dif­fi­cult time in the last cam­paign, his re­turn af­ter sus­pen­sion is ma­jor boost for head coach Stan­ley Menzo. Ajax haven’t had the best of starts to the PSL sea­son, but Menzo is con­fi­dent things will turn for the bet­ter soon. Three games into the new sea­son, the Cape side has picked up just one point. They come off a 1-0 de­feat to Or­lando Pi­rates in Soweto ear­lier this week

“One point af­ter three games is not good enough,” he said. “We have to catch up. This is a cru­cial game, we have to make sure that we win. It won’t be easy, but we have to go for it. We’ve got Roscoe Pi­etersen back from sus­pen­sion and Rheece Evans back from in­jury, and that will help.

“What this team needs is a win, so that it can get them to be­lieve that they can win.”

Menzo also took the op­por­tu­nity at yes­ter­day’s press con­fer­ence in Parow to re­veal the club’s lat­est player ac­qui­si­tion. There was a glint in his eye when he spoke of Soumaila Ou­at­tara, the 22-year-old cen­tral de­fender from Burk­ina Faso. While Ou­at­tara won’t be avail­able against Polok­wane tonight Menzo had no doubt the player would be vi­tal dur­ing the rest of the sea­son.

“Af­ter just one train­ing match, ev­ery­body could see that he is a very good de­fender, and we signed him. He is strong, still young, which gives him lots of room for im­prove­ment. He re­minds me a lot of Sanchez of Ajax Am­s­ter­dam.”

Menzo ap­peared to have for­got­ten that the Sanchez he was re­fer­ring to – Columbian Davin­son Sánchez – had since trans­ferred to Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur in Eng­land.

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