Injury crisis giving Ertugral headaches

Ajax Cape Town coach Muhsin Ertugral could be forgiven for thinking that the footballing gods are against him.

Ertugral is trying to deal with an injury crisis at Ikamva as best he can, the Turk having been left with little option but to throw his youngsters into the deep end.

But while the Urban Warriors’ youth brigade have been able to lift their games when up against the likes of Mamelodi Sundowns (a 2-2 draw) and Kaizer Chiefs (a 1-0 win), the team has struggled for the most part this season.

Friday night’s 3-1 defeat to Moroka Swallows leaving the Cape side just two points above the relegation zone.

Its been a tough couple of months for Ertugral, and the Turk doesn’t see things getting better on the injury front any time soon; having lost two more senior players on Friday night.

“There are so many challenges this season. Half time [Nhlanhla] Shabalala came off. Experience is necessary. We had problems with [goalkeeper] Anssi Jaakkola , food poisoning.

“The youngster [Brandon Petersen] today was [at fault] for all three goals - with an experienced goalkeeper it could have been a different story. Mistakes like positioning, the wall, things we have spoken about. Mistakes at the back, organization mistakes,” he said.

Swallows are one of the more experienced teams in the league, and Ertugral admits he’s a bit envious of some of the players Birds coach Zeca Marques has at his disposal.

“A player like [Siyabonga] Nomvethe, I must say he is marvellous to watch. He is always taking defenders on. He buys time for his team-mates because he doesn’t lose the ball, for the other ones to make the runs. When he is on the ball the defence is always split.

“Obviously we would love to [bring some more experienced players into the Ajax squad], but we have certain frames and my hands are tied. It’s also not easy to get [players like] the Chabangus, the Nomvethes, its difficult for us.

“Obviously with the [Granwald] Scottys, the Koen van der Laaks, the Franklin Cales [all out injured], those are important players that we do have in our squad. And our goalkeeper he conceded only one goal in the past couple of weeks.

“It doesn’t mean the policy is going to be change. The talent is there, but we need to find the right combinations. Now it every time a challenge for us, I still believe there is much ore in this team,” Ertugral added.