Başakşehir wants to extend stay atop league
ISTANBULIstanbul club Başakşehir is determined to remain the leader of the Spor Toto Super League as it prepares to host Akhisar Belediye on Oct. 30.
This year’s surprise club Başakşehir, under former Turkish national coach Abdullah Avcı, remains unbeaten in the league with six victories in eight weeks, and is leading Beşiktaş on goal difference.
Beşiktaş was to play against Gençlerbirliği in Ankara late on Oct. 28.
Avcı said his team was determined to beat Akhisar and remain the leader. “Akhisar is very good at defense and has not conceded a goal in its last four gamers,” Avcı told Anadolu Agency. “But we are used to winning and we want to keep it that way. All our plans are focused on winning. Once we win, we will shift our focus to our next opponent. We want to continue at this current pace,” he said, adding that his club’s success had not come as a result of luck.
“With the support of our club’s president, Göksel Gümüşdağ, and board members, we have the right foundation. I’m the sole man responsible on the pitch. I can focus fully on my job and that is very important,” he said.
The successful manager also noted Başakşehir fields around nine Turkish players each weak, in a league where the limit on foreign players has been lifted.
“I’ve worked in the youth system, youth national teams and the national team, so I have great knowledge of the player pool in Turkey and Europe,” Avcı said.
“When we transfer players, we prioritize the domestic ones we know, and they have not let us down so far. I hope this trend will carry on. Of course, I’m not against foreign players; some of them have added great value to the Super League,” he said.
“Başakşehir should set an example to other clubs. What we are doing in Başakşehir is a reminder of the importance of investing in Turkish people. There are major problems in youth systems. I hope the people will show their concern [in these problems],” he said.
In addition to the points scored, Başakşehir has scored 17 goals in the league, one goal less than top scorer Beşiktaş, but is the team with the least goals conceded, shipping only four in eight games.
“The defense of a team is sine qua non of football,” Avcı said when asked about it, “Conceding few goals is not only about our defense. We attack and defend as a team.”
He said the situation was not creating much pressure on him or the players. “At the moment, we are doing the right thing,” he added. “We will win some games and lose some, this is natural. We want to be on the agenda just with the game we are playing.”
In the other games due to be played on Oct. 30, Fenerbahçe will host Karabükspor and Trabzonspor will take on Rizespor at home.
On Oct. 29, Osmanlıspor will play against Gaziantepspor, while Bursaspor will host Konyaspor at home and Adanaspor will host Galatasaray.
The Super League’s ninth match day is due to conclude on Oct. 31 when Kasımpaşa and Aytemiz Alanyaspor clash in Istanbul and Antalyaspor takes on Kayserispor.