Ajax Cape Town coach Stanley Menzo looks on during a game. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN - 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 on Friday 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 Thursday'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 on Friday night 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.

Cape Times

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