CAPE TOWN – Roger de Sa’s abrupt departure as head coach of Maritzburg United has forced Ajax Cape Town coach Stanley Menzo to quickly change tactics ahead of the two clubs' meeting in a PSL fixture at the Harry Gwala Stadium on Saturday night (kick-off 8.15pm).
For Ajax, it was supposed to be a reunion with former coach De Sa, but instead the Cape side will have to, again, face a Maritzburg side under polished caretaker-coach Fadlu Davids.
In the corresponding first round fixture at the Cape Town Stadium in November last year, Capetonian Davids was in charge shortly after the KZN club had parted ways with German coach Ernst Middendorp.
Maritzburg duly surprised all and sundry by beating Ajax 2-1 in their own backyard.
As such, it is not surprising that Menzo is treading carefully as he prepares for Saturday’s match.
“I don’t expect there to be too big of a change with Roger (De Sa) not in charge,” said the Ajax coach at a press conference on Thursday. “But they will obviously have a different way of playing. When Fadlu (Davids) was in charge, they did quite well, so I expect that Maritzburg will keep the same approach that has worked for this coach in the past. We have prepared for a few different scenarios at training.
"We refreshed the players' memories from the defeat against Maritzburg last year and we have also viewed games of how they played when Roger was the coach.
“All in all, though, we have to control things, we have to set the rhythm. If there are opportunities to take advantage, then we have to do so… and when we have to be careful, then we must take care.”