Ajax aim get back to winning ways

Ajax Cape Town are looking to put the shock of a 4-0 loss to AmaZulu behind them by beating Jomo Cosmos in an Absa Premiership match at the Cape Town Stadium on Friday night, kick-off at 20h00.

The Urban Warriors have blown hot and cold this season – they have beaten Chiefs and Sundowns in the league, but lost to Usuthu and Platinum Stars.

It’s been suggested that the Cape side only rise to the occasion when they face the glamour clubs of the PSL, but defender Thulani Hlatshwayo claims this is not the case.

“This is not true, although I know people said this after we lost to AmaZulu. Against AmaZulu it was just a case of not applying ourselves – the effort was there, but there were certain areas in which we did not do what was required.

“That game is behind us now, and we are looking forward to playing Cosmos and getting the opportunity to rectify things.

“Cosmos are down at the bottom of the log, a bad place to be, and we will not be underestimating them because we know they will do anything to get points.

“We have worked hard in the last few weeks and it’s about going out there and applying ourselves, taking what we did in training and what the coach has told us onto the field of play,” said Hlatshwayo.

Ajax have Granwald Scott back from injury for this game, while keeper Sander Westerveld is available for selection after receiving his work permit.

But both Nhlanhla Vilakazi and Thato Mokeke are suspended, while Nazier Allie is injured.

This leaves the Cape side desperately short at centre-back – Hlatshwayo will slot into one of the voids, while the other could be filled by Nhlanhla Shabalala or Brett Evans.

“I have been training this week at centre-back and I’m happy to play there – it’s my natural position and having played right back has only helped me to become a more mobile player, it’s added something to my game, but I’m still comfortable in the middle,” explained Hlatshwayo.

For Cosmos, 2011/ 2012 is already shaping up in a similar fashion to their previous stints in the Absa Premiership that ended in relegation – the team is struggling at the foot of the table, with the bulk of their points coming from 0-0 draws.

Coach Jomo Sono has assembled a team of recruits from the lower divisions, from several west African countries, plus a few club stalwarts such as Avril Phali, Lucky Mhlate and Bamuza Sono.

Goal keeper and captain Phali must be wondering if it’s a case of déjà vu as he again finds himself at the helm of an Ezenkosi side battling to stay afloat.

On the outside though, he is trying to project a brave face.

“We are long overdue a win and we are determined to get three points against Ajax. The thing is, we are playing really good football, it’s just in front of goal that our luck and our touch is deserting us.

“Games are won by a team taking their chances and we have to do this. It won’t be easy against Ajax because they are coming into this game having lost badly to AmaZulu.

“But we are up for this challenge. The full squad is fit and available and Jomo is spoilt for choice with his team selection,” said Phali.