Struggling Trabzonspor seeks salvage against leader Galatasaray
Dreaming of a perfect season in the summer in the 50th year of the club’s establishment, Trabzonspor supporters have found themselves wondering whether the team will drop to the relegation zone after nine league games.
With a mere nine points so far, the Black Sea side hosts high-flying leader Galatasaray this weekend, and the possibility of another loss at home increases the pressure on the club’s new coach, Rıza Çalımbay.
Çalımbay replaced Ersun Yanal, who was sacked following a 6-1 home loss against Akhisarspor on Oct. 15.
His first game at Malatyaspor ended in a 1-0 loss, with two Trabzonspor players being sent off, but a 6-0 win at third league club
Çorum Belediyespor mid-week in a Turkish Cup match gave Çalımbay the room to breathe he desperately needed.
Now the former Beşiktaş coach, who also spent his entire 16-year playing career at the Istanbul club, sees the Galatasaray game as an opportunity to get the Trabzonspor community together.
“I knew that there was a crisis in Trabzonspor before I came in, I came to manage the crisis,” Çalımbay told reporters after a training session on Oct. 26.
“Our only disadvantage was the lack of time. I will be playing the third game in the week with a team I did not put together and know little about. A team that I have seen problems with after I took the job,” he said.
Çalımbay said a “treatment process” is underway.
“I am happy with the result in the cup game, but not happy with the level of the game, especially the tempo,” he added.
“It is difficult to be able to do something at this tempo. Some friends should go over their actual capacities if we are to get somewhere,” said Çalımbay.
The Galatasaray game means too much, not just for the team, but also for the Trabzonspor community, he said.
“We must play well and get a good result in front of our own fans,” Çalımbay added.
“I know the Trabzonspor fans, I believe in them, I count on them. The fans are always there during bad days, and if we will overcome such days, this will be thanks to the fans,” he said.
Trabzonspor, which has lost three and drawn two of its last five league games, needs a series of victories, starting with the Galatasaray game, according to Çalımbay.
“This a great chance, for the team, for the community,” he said. “We must take advantage of it in the best way possible. I know very well that if we can win, the doors will open in front of us, the team will regain its self-confidence,” he said.
Three surprise teams tailing Galatasaray in the standings, Göztepe, Akhisarspor and Kayserispor, will try to continue their good runs in the Week 10 games.
Kayserispor and Akhisarspor have tough fixtures, with the latter visiting last season’s runner-up Başakşehir on Oct. 28 and the Central Anatolian team traveling to Fenerbahçe on Oct. 30 for the final game of the week.
Göztepe was to play at Kasımpaşa in the opening game of the week late on Oct. 27. In the Oct. 28 games, Gençlerbirliği hosts Malatyaspor and defending champion Beşiktaş will hope to end its four-game winless streak at Alanyaspor ahead of the crucial Champions League game against Monaco at home on Nov. 1.
On Oct. 29, Karabükspor entertains Sivasspor at home, Bursaspor and Antalyaspor clash in Bursa and cellar-dweller Osmanlıspor visits Konyaspor for a game to be played behind closed doors due to the home side’s five-game ban for crowd trouble.