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SA SOCCER NEWS
Ajax are predictable and one-dimensional - Ted 01/04/04
Kaizer Chiefs coach Ted Dumitru has fired the first salvo ahead of the Absa Cup clash with bitter rivals Ajax Cape Town this weekend, claiming Gordon Igesund's team were lucky to get a point in their recent Castle Premiership clash and accusing them of being one-dimensional.

Chiefs and Ajax are locked in a titanic battle for Castle Premiership honours and Saturday's clash in Mmbatho will go some way to establishing a crucial psychological edge for the victors as the season hits the home straight.

"Eliminating our nearest rivals for the league trophy from the prestigious cup competition would be a great boost for us while, we hope, at the same time knocking them out of their stride," said Dumitru.

To add fuel to what will surely be an explosive clash of the country's two best teams, is the fact that Ajax knocked the Soweto glamour club out of the Absa Cup at the same stage last season.

Chiefs managed to partly exorcise that ghost when they sent the Urban Warriors crashing out of the Coca-Cola Cup earlier this season.

But nothing would be sweeter for the Phefeni Glamour Boys than to oust the Mother City upstarts who rained on their party last season.

And Dumitru, as usual, was not holding his punches when he spoke to a leading daily newspaper on Wednesday.

Refering to the team's recent 0-0 draw at Newlands, Dumitru said: "As usual, they were very predictable and never really bothered us where it mattered. We created the better chances and made better use of the ball."

'Master Ted', as Dumitru is affectionately known to the Amakhosi faithful, believes Ajax will employ the same "long ball" tactics on Saturday, with the gangly Nathan Paulse the target man upfront.

"I know they'll probably come with the tall boy (Paulse) to try to unsettle us at the back. In the last game he got his head to a few balls, but that was it. He lacks the timing and the composure to be a genuine threat.

"I mean, how many times in the same match can you pump the ball forward in the hope that your striker will get his head to it?"

The Romanian-born coach said his team will only have themselves to blame if they fall prey to Ajax's predictable game plan.

"I must say it does work against many teams in the league, but Chiefs are not easily caught out via the direct route.

"The good thing (for us) is that Ajax are not that brilliant at changing tactics in midstream," he added.


 

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