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Igesund gets Ajax into the right frame of mind 16/04/04
Ajax Cape Town play Wits University in an Absa Cup quarter-final at the Newlands Stadium on Saturday afternoon and coach Gordon Igesund has spent time this week making sure that his players are in the right frame of mind for the crucial game.

Touchline Photo

The reason that the players, and indeed the coach's mind could have been focussed elsewhere is due to the sudden host of red cards that have been dished out to the Cape team, leading to speculation that they have been targeted, or even that there is a conspiracy against the club.

The most recent came against Zulu Royals when Shane Poggenpoel was given his marching orders for having words with the referee.

Both Poggenpoel and Bradley August, who was sent off in the previous game against Manning rangers, will miss this match due to suspension.

But the experienced Igesund has done his utmost to dispel negative thoughts in his players during training this week.

"We had some good motivational sessions this week. There's obviously lots of anger and frustration in the camp," he is reported as saying in the Cape Times.

"I told the players that these things happen in football and that we're going to have to win games, no matter what the match officials dish up. We have no control over what goes on in the minds of these people."

The three-time Castle Premiership winning coach is in fact hoping to channel the player's anger in the right direction and use it to knock the Students out of the Cup.

"If anything, I think all the drama has inspired them to really go all out to win the cup. They're fired up."

However, the home team have a tough task on their hands as they have failed to score against Wits in four previous games at their home base, although they did score a 2-1 victory over the Clever Boys in Johannesburg earlier this season.

They will need to keep an eye on Wits' new striking sensation, the highly rated Etienne Boto'o of Gabon, who scored a brace on his debut against Zulu Royals.

Luckily for Igesund DRC defender Cyrille Kitambala has been in superb form this season and will need to make use of his vast experience to keep Boto'o out.

The Urban Warriors will be determined to win this game as they are now relying on Kaizer Chiefs to slip up in the league in order to challenge for the title and therefore fans can expect an action packed encounter at Newlands tomorrow afternoon. (Kick-off is at 15.15.)

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