Beşiktaş wants to add to derby victory in Süper Lig
Özgür Korkmaz – ISTANBUL
Beşiktaş aims for another victory on Nov. 2 in the Turkish Süper Lig at Antalyaspor, hoping to add to last week’s success against city rival Galatasaray.
The 1-0 victory in the Istanbul derby on Oct. 27 came in a troubled season for Beşiktaş and its coach Abdullah Avcı.
Sub-par performances both in the Turkish league and the Europa League have increased pressure on coach Avcı, who took helm of the club after spending his almost entire career at Başakşehir, creating a title contender club from scratch.
Beşiktaş won three games in the first nine weeks of the league season and has lost all its three matches in the Europa League. Avcı blames problems in the squad for the poor run.
“We could determine our squad only this morning due to injuries,” Avcı said after the derby victory.
“We have had problems since the start of the season. The transfers were completed late, we have ongoing injury problems, some players received red cards. I’m being flexible, I’m working on the squad to create something new from the current player profile.”
Avcı also called on the supporters, who called for his resignation after a 2-1 loss at home to Braga three days before the derby, to back the team.
“With the fans’ support, and injured players coming back, we hope to start a winning streak,” he said.
However, away games have been a major problem for Beşiktaş since last season. Since beating Sivasspor 2-1 in Week 29 of last season, the club has lost five of the six away games it has played, drawing the other.
Antalyaspor, on the other hand, is on a two-game losing streak, and definitely needs to resist Beşiktaş to stay clear of the relegation zone.
Antalyaspor coach Bülent Korkmaz said his players are ready to “show some reaction,” and called on the city’s locals to support the team.
“It is not a football match without supporters, the game cannot be enjoyed without the fans’ support,” Korkmaz told reporters mid-week.
“We need their support. We need to show some reaction to return to the winning ways, and I believe that we can do this with the backing of our supporters.”
While Antalyaspor struggles, its neighbor Alanyaspor is enjoying sitting atop the standings.
The club from the popular Mediterranean resort town of Alanya hosts Başakşehir on Nov. 3.
Alanyaspor has won five games, losing only one, but coach Erol Bulut is still far from talking about the club’s title chances.
“We are happy with our current position, and we will be here as long as we can,” Bulut said. “We want to be among the top clubs in the standings at the end of the season, but it is not right for me to stay ‘we are playing for the title.’ It will be disrespectful to the clubs that have been title contenders for very long years.”
Also on Nov. 2 in Week 10 games in the Süper Lig, Gençlerbirliği, which appointed Hamza Hamzaoğlu as its new coach on Oct. 31, visits Konyaspor and Trabzonspor hosts Göztepe.
On Nov. 3, Denizlispor entertains Sivasspor, Kasımpaşa plays Malatyaspor at home and Fenerbahçe travels to cellar-dweller Kayserispor.
In the last game of the season, Ankaragücü and Gaziantep clash in the capital on Nov. 4.
Defending champion Galatasaray was to host Rizespor late on Nov. 1 in the week’s opening game.