Ajax coach Ertugral has lauded his opponent's experience ahead of the Cape Derby. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – Ajax Cape Town coach Muhsin Ertugral had no hesitation in revealing the high regard he has for his Cape Town City counterpart Benni McCarthy.

The two teams ticked down the last few days before the much-anticipated Cape derby at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday afternoon (kick- off 3.30pm).

“Benni is a legend in South African football,” said Ertugral at a press conference on Thursday. The highest a footballer can achieve is to win the World Cup and the second is the Champions League. Benni has won the Champions League and that says it all. I have great respect for him, you cannot buy that type of experience. He is now looking to transform that to the field as a coach, and the players can learn a lot from his knowledge and experience.”

Ajax have looked a lot better since Ertugral’s arrival – and the Turkish coach was looking forward to Saturday’s derby.

“I think both teams are hungry for this,” he said. “And when you have two offensive teams such as this, then it is always a positive. I think, from a spectator point of view, it’s going to be a really exciting game.”

Unfortunately, Ajax won’t have new man Yannick Zakri available as yet. The Ivory Coast attacker has joined the club on a six-month loan deal from Mamelodi Sundowns, but Ertugral said the forward is not yet eligible to play.

“Zakri’s paper work has still to be completed,” said Ertugral. “He won’t be available for the derby or the next game against Free State Stars. 

Hopefully, he will be ready for the Orlando Pirates clash after that.”

IOL Sport

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